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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Russia has surged ahead on the foreign policy stage, but this is not enough to remain a great power. The tough-minded policies and masterful diplomacy of Russia’s leadership have maximized the country’s position in the world, and are now the main source of its international influence and prestige. Russia’s foreign policy in the next decade depends entirely on what happens at home.