Moscow is worried that E.U. regards the Baltic as a closed sea of its own

A session of the Council of Baltic Sea States, or the CBSS, which will be held on June 11 at the level of foreign ministers, will dwell on the development of the transport infrastructure and links between cities and bordering areas, Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Vladimir Chizhov told RIA Novosti on Friday.

"A new situation has been cropping up in this region," he said, explaining that only two countries who are not members of the European Union, namely Russia and Norway, would soon be left in the CBSS. "Naturally, the EU is coming to regard the Baltic Sea as a closed sea belonging to the EU," he stressed. "We naturally think the CBSS is an organization of all-sufficient value and not a go-between Russia and the EU in this region." According to the diplomat, participants may change the format of CBSS meeting. "There's an idea to hold biennial meetings of prime ministers," he said. If this idea is not turned down, then "the heads of government will be gathering in even years and foreign ministers in uneven years." Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov, who will be attending the session, is expected to hold a number of bilateral meetings, including two with his counterparts from Estonia and Latvia.

Founded in 1992, the CBSS involves Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Russia, Sweden and the European Communities Commission. Iceland joined the union in 1995. Great Britain, Italy, the USA, France, Ukraine and the Netherlands have the status of observers at sessions held at the level of ministers.

Security issues are never discussed during CBSS sessions.

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