MOSCOW, October 23 (RIA Novosti)
The idea that Russia is losing influence in the Arab world as a result of the Arab Spring is "wishful thinking," Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Tuesday.
“We disagree with such opinions because our relations with the majority of the region’s most influential countries have either retained their intensity or even deepened,” Lavrov said in an interview with the Rossiiskaya Gazeta government daily.
He said that such statements were “wishful thinking and an attempt to set certain forces against us.”
“Serious countries and serious opposition figures… see Russia as a factor contributing to stability,” Lavrov added.
“No matter what happens, Russia would still be treated as a reliable partner and an important guarantor of geopolitical balance, just like it used to be in the past, when the region was freeing itself from colonial rule,” Lavrov said. “There is no prejudice against Russia [in the region].”
Triggered by the December 2010 revolution in Tunisia, the Arab Spring resulted in the overthrow of regimes in Egypt, Libya and Yemen.
It also triggered a civil conflict in Syria, which has claimed up to 30,000 lives since March 2011, according to latest UN estimates.
Russia has been widely criticized for supporting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and vetoing two UN Security Council resolutions on Syria.
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- Wolfgang9The problem is NOT22:15, 23/10/2012The problem is NOT that Russia supports his friends, the problem IMHO is that it supports them not much enough! Not enough support for friends is much worse and discourages others to stay with you. Make no mistake, I really like Mr Lavrow and I know that he knows the problems even better than me. But, that he had to make that statement is a little bit troublesome to me, sorry. Normally such things must not be said.
- PlutardesThe future ECONOMIC BLOC of the Middle East21:24, 24/10/2012The United States and NATO, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, are geopolitically detached from most of the Middle East. The USA, for example, has allies in the region of the Mideast, but gets little return from those countries there. Iraq, to say, as soon as America left its territory has made oil deals about its oil supplies and exploration with the Russian Federation. Iran and Syria also are doing direct business with Russia with the backing of China. And there is the point that the Middle East is formulating the MIDEAST COMMUNITY as an independent economic bloc for the whole Middle East that would have its own currency, a blow for the dollar including the USA and why not NATO until now, even the eurozone would be damaged with this community of the Mideast.
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The growing outright rivalry between the United States and China gives Russia more foreign policy weight, enabling it to assume the role of a balancer. So far it has been doing so rather skillfully. Today it may participate in a joint naval exercise with China that Beijing positions as outwardly anti-American. But tomorrow it can team up with the naval forces of the Old World.