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EU embassies working on mechanisms to support Russian non-systemic opposition — Lavrov

According to the top diplomat, the Russian side invited all of the EU ambassadors for a meeting with the Russian foreign minister, but two days before the meeting the European diplomats informed the Russian side that they decided not to come

SIRIUS /Federal Territory/, March 4. /TASS/. Russia has evidence that embassies of certain European Union countries are working on mechanisms to support Russia’s non-systemic opposition ahead of the presidential election, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said.

"We have a lot of documents about how EU embassies in Moscow are getting prepared for our presidential election, about the mechanisms of interference they use, about projects to support our non-systemic opposition. In general, about what embassies have no right to engage in," he told a session of the World Youth Festival.

"Having gathered this data, we invited all of the EU ambassadors, as far as I remember, slightly more than a week ago, for a meeting with me where I, as the foreign minister, wanted to tell the ambassadors and heads of diplomatic missions that we recommend, in good faith, that they refrain from doing this. But two days before the meeting, we received a note: ‘We have decided not to come,’" the minister recounted.

"Can you imagine diplomatic relations with countries when their ambassadors are afraid of having a meeting with the [foreign] minister of the country they are accredited to? Have you ever seen anything like that? I mean the behavior of these ‘frenemy’ partners," he said.

TASS First Deputy Director General Mikhail Gusman is moderating the festival’s session on Russia and its role in shaping a multipolar world.

The World Youth Festival is taking place in the Sirius Federal Territory in far southern Russia on March 1-7, 2024. More than 300,000 people from 190 countries have applied to take part. Participants in the festival’s regional program will visit 30 Russian cities on March 10-17. TASS is the event’s general information partner.