Article of Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov “On the Right Side of History” published in the internet edition “The Huffington Post” 15 June, 2012
Over the last year or a year and a half, the events unfolding in North Africa and the Middle East have come to the forefront of the global political agenda. They are frequently referred to as the most remarkable episode in the international life of the new 21st century. Experts have long spoken about the fragility of authoritarian regimes in Arab countries and possible social and political shocks.
However, it was difficult to predict the scale and pace with which the wave of change would sweep over the region. Alongside the manifestations of crisis in the world economy, these events have clearly proved that the process leading to the emergence of a new international system has entered a zone of turbulence.
The more large-scale social movements appeared in the countries of the region, the more urgent became the issue of what policy should be pursued by external actors and the entire international community. Numerous expert discussions on that matter and subsequent practical actions of States and international organizations have outlined two main approaches: either to help the Arab peoples determine their own future by themselves, or to try to shape a new political reality to one's taste while taking advantage of the softening of state structures that had long been too rigid. The situation continues to evolve rapidly, which makes it important for those who have the biggest say in the matters of the region to finally consolidate their efforts rather than continue to pull in different directions like the characters of a fable by Ivan Krylov.
Let me sum up the points that I have repeatedly made in relation to the evolving situation in the Middle East. First of all, Russia, in common with the majority of countries in the world, encourages the aspirations of the Arab peoples for a better life, democracy and prosperity, and stands ready to support these efforts. This is why we welcomed the Deauville Partnership initiative at the G8 summit in France. We firmly oppose the use of violence in the course of current transformations in Arab States, especially against civilians. We are well aware of the fact that the transformation of a society is a complex and generally long process which rarely goes smoothly.....http://www.mid.ru/bdomp/brp_4.nsf/0/D54B1EB2726D75F544257A1E003935A8