US persuading allies not to take part in Moscow Security Conference — diplomatic source

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MOSCOW, February 28. /TASS/. Washington is trying to persuade its NATO allies to limit their participation in the Moscow International Security Conference scheduled for April, sending only junior diplomats there, a source at the Russian Foreign Ministry told TASS on Thursday.

“Washington is trying to convince its NATO allies that the Moscow International Security Conference, scheduled to be held in April, is nothing more but just another Russian attempt to lure other countries into its orbit and influence NATO members’ position on issues important for Moscow,” the diplomat said, adding that the information had come from European sources. “At the same time, it is being stressed that dialogue with us can only be held on certain issues and not at a forum that the Kremlin allegedly uses to voice accusations against the West and mislead the international community,” he added.

According to the Foreign Ministry source, US authorities are recommending Western European countries to send only junior diplomats from their Moscow embassies to attend the conference as observers. “Russia has long stopped being surprised by such backroom diplomacy used by the Americans,” the source noted. “Since 2014, US representatives have been avoiding participation in the conference only because it is organized by Russia. And now the US seeks to influence its closest allies, citing the much talked about transatlantic solidarity,” he added.

The diplomat also said that if the United States was not ready for serious dialogue on global security, it did not mean that others must follow its example. “On the contrary, given rising global and regional tensions, joint efforts to find solutions to issues are more important than ever,” he stressed. “Such events help unite the international community’s efforts and those of the defense ministries from many countries in order to fight real threats rather than invented ones,” he concluded.

The Moscow International Security Conference, organized by the Russian Defense Ministry, involves high-ranking military officers, diplomats and experts from all over the world.

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