Medvedev compares 'Arab Spring' to fall of Berlin Wall
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Thursday compared the likely consequences of the Arab Spring to those of the fall of the Berlin Wall as he underlined the necessity of timely reforms to avoid unrest.
Revolts in the Middle East and North Africa "are of a historic character and can pave the way for transformations similar to those taking place in Central Europe after the fall of the Berlin Wall", the Russian leader told foreign ambassadors in the Kremlin.
"Events in the Arab world once again proved ... that socioeconomic reforms, reforms that would take into account the interests of the widest majority of the population, must be carried out in due time," Medvedev added in remarks released by the Kremlin.
The fall of the Berlin Wall on November 9, 1989 symbolised a bloodless end to communism, a move regarded as having had a domino effect across the Soviet bloc, ending in the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.
Medvedev's words came after leaders of the Group of Eight countries at their France meeting in May adopted a declaration on the Arab Spring which also drew parallels with the 1989 removal of the 43-kilometre (27-mile) demarcation line between East and West Berlin.
Medvedev has previously called the uprising in Tunisia a "lesson" to all governments that do not meet the aspirations of the people.
However Russia has been a dissenting voice in the West's treatment of the Libyan conflict, having abstained from a critical UN Security Council resolution and later continuing to criticise the scale of the NATO-led campaign.
© 2011 AFP