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10 Feb, 2022 13:17

Russia says it won't attend Munich Security Conference

The German forum is ‘losing its inclusiveness and objectivity,’ the Foreign Ministry says
Russia says it won't attend Munich Security Conference

For the first time since the 1990s, there will be no delegation from Moscow at this year’s Munich Security Conference, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova announced on Wednesday.

Speaking during a press briefing, Zakharova revealed that Russian officials would not be attending the prestigious annual meeting “for various reasons.”

“We regret to say that in recent years, the conference has been increasingly transformed into such a transatlantic forum, losing its inclusiveness and objectivity,” she said. “Interest in Moscow for this event has dropped noticeably.”

According to Moscow daily Kommersant, the government’s decision was influenced by Germany’s mandatory six-day quarantine period for those who have not received an EU-approved vaccine. Sputnik V, the most popular Covid shot in Russia, still has not been given the stamp of approval by the European Medicines Agency (EMA).

The newspaper also suggested that “irritation” over anti-Russian comments made by the organizers, Wolfgang Ischinger and Christoph Heusgen, also contributed to the decision not to send a delegation.

Russia has participated in the prestigious German conference since 1999. In recent years, Moscow’s delegation has been led by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. It was attended by President Vladimir Putin just once, in 2007, when he delivered a landmark speech criticizing NATO and the US.

This year’s Munich Security Conference is due to take place next week, and will be attended by senior politicians from all over the world, including US Vice President Kamala Harris.