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Russia withdraws from Council of Baltic Sea States over opposition to war with Ukraine

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Russia has pulled out of the Council of the Baltic Sea States (CBSS) with immediate effect.

The Council had on March 3 suspended Russia from its activities over the Kremlin’s military operation in Ukraine.

President Vladimir Putin had on February 24 ordered the invasion of Ukraine a few days after announcing Moscow’s recognition of two breakaway Republics in its next-door neighbour.

The development has attracted a raft of measures from the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada and others in the West.

The CBSS is an inter-governmental political forum for regional cooperation, comprising 11 member states and the European Union before Russia’s withdrawal.

READ ALSO: Ukraine charges first captured Russian soldier for war crimes

In a statement issued on Tuesday, the Russian Foreign Ministry said Moscow’s exit from the Council would not affect her presence in the Baltic region.

It added that Moscow would continue to work with partners and hold events on key issues of regional development.

The statement read: “The states of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) and the European Union (EU) as part of the CBSS have abandoned equal dialogue and principles on which this regional organisation was created, and are consistently turning it into an instrument of anti-Russian policy.”

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