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West looks for any clue to drive a wedge between Russia and Kazakhstan, says Lavrov

According to Russian Foreign Minister, US and EU follow very closely the developments in the post-Soviet space

MOSCOW, December 10. /TASS/. The West is trying to find any clues to drive a wedge between Russia and Kazakhstan, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in a televised interview with Kazakhstan’s Khabar-24 news channel on Saturday.

"In today’s communications environment, any information - true or fake - is spread widely instantly. Those unscrupulous ‘interested parties’ who drive wedges into our relations take advantage of this immediately," Lavrov said.

"We know how closely our US counterparts and the representatives of the European Union follow the developments in the post-Soviet space," the minister said. "They watch out for any clues in order to ‘inflate’ the statement of certain individuals up to the level of the state policy of one or another country. They do not even attempt to conceal it".

According to Lavrov, Brussels, the US Congress and Department of State regularly discuss how many non-government organizations they set up, support and fund. The Russian top diplomat emphasized that in this regard Russia coordinates its steps with Kazakhstan.

"We share an understanding of how to achieve equal cooperation with all our foreign partners," Lavrov said. "The fact that some foreign colleagues are biased and try to distort reality in every way possible to achieve their geopolitical goals can be seen in the numerous cases of interference into a wide range of processes in Central Asia and in other territories of the former Soviet Union".

Use of US dollar

Accodring to the Russian Foreign Minister it is also time for Russia and Kazakhstan to wean themselves off financial arrangements in the dollar and euro, as those currencies have proved to be unreliable.

"In bilateral trade with Kazakhstan in January-October 2022, trade rose by about 10%, which equals about $22 billion in annual terms. I say ‘dollars’ as I am used to saying it. It is time for us to wean ourselves off calculating our achievements and cooperation in the currency that has proved to be unreliable. The issuers of dollars and euros are impossible to negotiate with and can unilaterally impose discriminatory measures at any time," Lavrov said.

The top diplomat said that the economic protective mechanisms, which might help reduce dependence on the ‘whims’ of the West, are under discussion at the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).

"Intense discussions are underway within the EAEU and the CIS on how to work out protective mechanisms that will allow not to depend or to reduce dependence on the whims of our Western partners, to serve trade and investment activities using our own methods, including the transition to national currencies, the creation of their own logistics chains. All this seems relevant and is being actively discussed within the EAEU and the CIS, including bilaterally between Russia and Kazakhstan," he said.

Lavrov added that the trade between Kazakhstan and Russia had not been affected, despite the Western sanctions.

"In spite of all the sanctions, which the West has been actively propagating around the world in defiance of all the norms of international law and the principles of market economy, our trade has not been affected," he said.

"As far as the EAEU is concerned, in the first ten months of the current year, its indications remained at the level of the corresponding period of 2021, and even grown slightly. I think we will receive more positive information by the end of 2022," Lavrov concluded.