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The strong are not popular
"The strong are not popular," and this explains the growing attacks on Russia by the former Soviet republics, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in an interview with Izvestia. Lavrov explained his idea by saying that when the 50th anniversary of VE-Day was marked in 1995, Russia had "sky-high debts, it was weak and tended to avoid an international policy that is now described as multi-vectored." Yet the 1995 VE-Day celebrations were not surrounded by the controversy that marked this year's events as the Baltic countries raised the issue that the end of Nazism in their region meant the beginning of communism there and demanded Moscow's apology for Soviet oppressions. Lavrov said that this situation reflects the financial independence of Russia, which is repaying debts, carrying out economic reforms and has preserved its natural advantages like its energy resources, vast territory and transport possibilities. Moscow knows that it should review its heavy dependence on oil and gas export and plans to make the economy innovative. "Some forces probably dislike this possibility," Lavrov said. "This is why they need irritants around Russia that would distract attention" from it. Speaking about the recent events in the former Soviet countries, Lavrov stressed that there are no parallels between the "color revolutions" and the events in Uzbekistan, where no formal pretext, such as disputable election results, existed for calling the events a revolution. According to certain information, a group of armed people, some of them fighters of Islamic organizations, had long been preparing an invasion in Uzbekistan. "They seized weapons in a military unit and used them to take over several government buildings and take hostages," Lavrov said. He did not discount that they also used innocent civilians as a living shield. "The events in Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan differ from each other, but could ultimately benefit those who want to destabilize the situation in the region," Lavrov said.
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