Latvia and Estonia withdrew from the framework program of cooperation with China
Beijing created this forum to strengthen relations with European countries and promote its initiative «One Belt, One Road»
Latvia and Estonia announced that they withdrew from a Chinese-backed forum aimed at bolstering ties with Eastern European countries, in what appears to be yet another setback in China's increasingly assertive diplomacy.
This move was preceded by China's stronger ties with Russia , whose invasion of Ukraine is seen as a possible first step in a series of moves against countries that were once part of the Soviet Union.
China did not criticize Russia and condemned Western economic sanctions against Moscow.
“Given the current priorities of foreign and trade policy, Latvia has decided to withdraw from the framework program for cooperation between the countries of Central and Eastern Europe and China,” the Latvian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
A similar statement in Estonia released, noting that it has participated in this format of cooperation since 2012.
“Estonia has not participated in any meetings of this format since the summit in February,” the statement said.
< p>China created this forum to strengthen relations with EU members, as well as Serbia and other countries, in particular to promote the initiative of Chinese President Xi Jinping “One Belt, One Road” to build bridges, railways, power plants and other infrastructure in Eurasia .