Russian President Vladimir Putin has criticized the West for clinging to its influence in the Arab world under the guise of “humanitarian operations.” He dubbed western involvement in Arab affairs as the export of “rocket and bomb democracy.” At a meeting with top Russian diplomats Putin said that certain countries will do anything to retain the influence they have become accustomed to in the Arab world. He stressed that western nations often adopt a one-sided policy in Arab affairs that violates international law.
“We must do everything in our power to coerce the opposing forces in the Syrian conflict into coming to a peaceful solution,” underlined the Russian President. Citing the importance of an active dialogue in Syria, he said “this is, of course, a more complicated and delicate task than just barreling in with military intervention.” Putin added that only a diplomatic solution could lead to long-term peace and stability in the region. Russia opposes any resolution to the Syrian conflict that stipulates the removal of President Assad, maintaining the political future of the nation is the prerogative of the Syrian people. At a summit of UN countries in Geneva last week, diplomats agreed on the adoption of UN envoy to Syria Kofi Annan’s new plan for a unified transition government in Syria. The plan states that the unity government should include elements of the opposition, but exclude political figures that put the stability of Syria in jeopardy. Russia agrees with the plan, although Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov claims some western nations have distorted the wording of the plan to push for Assad’s forced removal. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton claims the document specifically calls for the ouster of President Bashar al-Assad.