MOSCOW, February 28. /TASS/. Arab countries, even as they face strong pressure from the West, have taken a balanced position on the situation in Ukraine, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in a welcome address to the Middle East Conference of the Valdai International Discussion Club on Tuesday.
The address was read out by Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov, who is also the presidential special envoy for the Middle East and Africa.
"We are stating with satisfaction that, despite unprecedented pressure from the US-led collective West, our Arab friends have taken a balanced position on the situation in and around Ukraine, as they are guided, first of all, by their fundamental national interests," the address said.
Lavrov said the development of relations with the countries of the Middle East and North Africa is a priority for Russia's foreign policy. "Strengthening a trust-based dialogue and diverse mutually beneficial cooperation with each of the countries of the Middle East and North Africa, as well as multilateral associations operating in the Middle East space, are among the unconditional strategic priorities of Russia's foreign policy," the Russian foreign minister stated.
"Russian diplomacy will continue to work to make the Middle East a zone of security, stability and prosperity. We will continue to help to overcome crisis situations, take part in the post-conflict reconstruction of the affected countries," Lavrov said.