MOSCOW, February 22. /TASS/. Russia supports the sovereignty of former Soviet republics and the situation with Ukraine is an exception because it’s related to outside influence on the country, Russian President Vladimir Putin said during talks with his Azeri counterpart Ilham Aliyev.
Putin reminded that Russia supported Kazakhstan at the start of 2022 to preserve its sovereignty.
"We intend to act the same way with regard to all our neighbors going forward," he said. "It’s different with Ukraine, and it’s related to the fact that, unfortunately, the territory of this country is used by third countries to create threats for the Russian Federation. That’s the only reason."
Putin noted that "after the coup in Ukraine, we do not see that level and quality of interaction in Ukraine, it has vanished."
"I want to emphasize: it happened after the coup and the illegal seizure of power by those who did it," the Russian president said.
He told Aliyev that before the start of the meeting, he spoke by phone with Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev. In his opinion, the situation in Kazakhstan in the beginning of 2022 is a good example of the fact that "Russia only supports the sovereignty of its neighbors, strengthens it in every possible way, and the example of Kazakhstan is evidence of this policy."
Putin said that after the completion of the CSTO mission in Kazakhstan, military forces of the organization were pulled out, and Russia and Kazakhstan continue to cooperate in all areas that benefit both countries.