MOSCOW, May 17 (Xinhua) -- Russia announced on Tuesday that it has decided to pull out of the Council of the Baltic Sea States (CBSS).
"The states of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and the European Union as part of the CBSS have abandoned equal dialogue and principles on which this regional organization was created, and are consistently turning it into an instrument of anti-Russian policy," the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
The departure from the CBSS will not affect Russia's presence in the Baltic region and Moscow will continue to work with partners and hold events on key issues of regional development, it added.
The CBSS is an intergovernmental political forum for regional cooperation, consisting of 11 member states and the European Union before Russia's withdrawal.
On March 3, the CBSS decided to suspend Russia from further participation in the council's activities in response to Russia's military operation in Ukraine. ■