MOSCOW (Sputnik) – There are only two Russian diplomats left in some countries that have become hostile to Russia as part of Moscow’s special operation in Ukraine, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said.
“In these countries, we are mainly talking about the countries of the European Union and the countries that we have declared hostile, so they have practically minimized our diplomatic presence. We have countries where there are only one or two [Russian] diplomats,” Zakharova told Russian television channel TVC on Saturday.
She stressed that the work of Russian diplomats abroad is crucial, as they assist Russian citizens and organizations and help maintain economic ties.
“There are people there who are building economic ties with us. And they have been building business on an equal footing with our country for decades. They are really hurting from what they see happening in their country. compared to Russia,” Zakharova said.
Russian Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov said earlier this month that it had taken a lot of work to get Washington to understand that Western sanctions were causing significant damage to Russian diplomats around the world.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Yevgeny Ivanov said in October that Russian diplomats were refocusing their work on priority regions for Russian foreign policy and that Russia would open new consulates general in Asia, Africa and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).
Last month, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that Russia sees no reason to maintain its current diplomatic presence in Western countries, with greater attention to be given to countries in Asia, America Latin and African. The minister stressed that Moscow is shifting its geographical focus from the West to countries that are “willing to cooperate with Russia on mutually beneficial and equal terms.”