Russia cautions against 'foreign ultimatums' for Egypt

3rd February 2011, Comments 0 comments

Russia on Thursday cautioned against foreign interference in Egypt's affairs, saying its politicians should themselves find a way to end violent unrest and the world should not make ultimatums.

"We are interested in Egypt being a stable, prospering, democratic state, in today's social, economic and political problems being settled peacefully as soon as possible," Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in a statement.

"How precisely to do this it is up to the Egyptian politicians, the Egyptian people to decide. We do not consider it useful to impose some recipes from the outside, put forward some sort of ultimatums."

"I will stress once more that it's political forces inside Egypt itself that should reach an agreement," he said, calling the Middle Eastern nation Russia's "strategic partner."

Earlier in the day five EU nations -- Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Spain -- urged an immediate political transition to end violent unrest in Egypt.

Egypt's long-standing President Hosni Mubarak is facing mass protests calling for him to quit power, which erupted Wednesday into violent clashes. Russia traditionally prefers to distance itself from the unrest in the countries it calls its friends and strategic partners.

While the West has reacted with outrage to the post-election crackdown in Belarus that saw hundreds of opposition supporters arrested, Russia said the election was Belarus's internal affair.

© 2011 AFP

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