West Tries to Gain Foothold in Central Asia by Putting Pressure on CIS States, Russian FSB Says

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BISHKEK (Sputnik) - The West wants to gain a foothold in Central Asia and influence the region in any way, including by putting pressure on the leadership of the CIS countries, Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) Director Alexander Bortnikov said.

"We see persistent attempts by the West to influence the situation in Afghanistan. This explains their intentions to gain a foothold in Central Asia at all costs and use this platform to influence the entire region... This can include the imposition of various formats of cooperation in the field of defense and security, as well as political and economic pressure on the leadership of the CIS states," Bortnikov said at a meeting of the Council of Heads of Security Agencies and Special Services of the CIS member states in Bishkek.

The United States and the United Kingdom want to establish total control over trade and financial transactions in the CIS under the guise of sanctions against Russia's partners in order to be able to undermine the economy of any regional state, Bortnikov added.

He also noted, that good example of "external management work" is Moldova.

"The Moldovan authorities have actually lost their political independence. Moreover, today Chisinau is facing the issue of abandoning national identity and statehood in general... The [NATO] alliance is literally pushing Moldova toward a military confrontation with Russia and Belarus," Bortnikov said.