Russia quits Council of Baltic Sea States

Russia quits Council of Baltic Sea States

Russia said Tuesday it was quitting the Council of the Baltic Sea States amid raging tensions with the West over Moscow's offensive in Ukraine.

The organisation is a political forum for regional cooperation that groups together 11 member states such as Germany, Finland and Norway as well as the European Union.

The foreign ministry in Moscow said that the organisation was becoming "an instrument of anti-Russian policy" and "increasingly mired in Russophobia and lies."

"We consider our country's further presence in the CBSS to be inexpedient and counterproductive," the foreign ministry said in a statement.

Moscow said the organisation planned to hold a meeting in Norway on May 25 without Russia's participation, accusing the group of stealing the country's contribution to its budget.

Despite leaving the council, Moscow said it would remain present in the Baltic region.

"Attempts to oust our country from the Baltics are doomed to failure," the ministry said.

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