Russia vows to continue developing cooperation with North Korea

Russia vows to continue developing cooperation with North Korea

Kremlin spokesman says no one has the right to criticize either country as North Korea is Russia's neighbor and Moscow plans to strengthen bilateral ties with Pyongyang

By Elena Teslova

MOSCOW (AA) – Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Thursday that Russia will continue to develop cooperation with North Korea and that no one has the right to criticize either country for it.

Peskov said at a press briefing in the Moscow region that North Korea is Russia's neighbor and Moscow plans to strengthen bilateral relations with Pyongyang.

"The potential for the development of our bilateral relations is enormous. We believe that our right to foster good relations with our neighbors should not cause concern… and cannot and should not be disputed by anyone," he emphasized.

Regarding Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan's statement casting doubt on his country's membership in the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), the Kremlin spokesman said Moscow will continue to work with Yerevan to clarify its stance on the issue.

"Each country defines its own priorities. Our priorities are well understood, (and) we consistently defend them, and these priorities, in the field of security and collective security, are also shared by the CSTO member states," he said.

He also commented on the ongoing four-day G7 summit in Italy, where it is planned to extend support to Ukraine by allowing Russian assets to be used, saying Moscow is closely monitoring the situation.

Regarding NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg's proposal to make it mandatory for member nations to supply arms to Ukraine, the Russian official said that even if approved, it would not change the situation on the battlefield.

Speaking about the US sanctions against the Moscow Stock Exchange, Peskov said the Central Bank of Russia is capable of ensuring stability in all markets.

When asked about possible retaliatory measures to the sanctions, he said, "We are considering actions that will best serve our interests."

Commenting on Western countries' concerns over a visit by a Russian naval ship to Cuba, he said other countries should not be worried about Russia's military exercises with partner states.

"Military exercises are a normal practice, (conducting training) in various regions is a normal practice for all states, especially for such a large maritime power as the Russian Federation," the Kremlin representative said.

According to him, "making such visits is also a common practice."

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