Speaking to students at the Moscow Institute of International Relations, the minister said: "Major changes have taken place in post-Soviet countries near our borders. These processes are directly linked to how our security, the security of our borders, and conditions for Russia's economic growth will be ensured."
Lavrov said post-Soviet countries were an unconditional priority for Russia's foreign policy. He said the interests of Russians should be protected worldwide, especially in the CIS, and a decision to establish a common humanitarian space made at the recent CIS summit in Kazan would be an important step in that direction.
Lavrov said every CIS member country except for Turkmenistan had signed the humanitarian cooperation agreement and added that this had established frameworks for interaction in culture, education and sports.
"We should proceed from our national interests, so that our activities in this area correspond to people's needs," the minister said.
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The main event of the third day of the 11th meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club in Sochi was the closing session with President Vladimir Putin. The atmosphere was calm and open, despite the current political tensions and the Russia-West confrontation. The Russian president said that it corresponded to the spirit of the Valdai Club.