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Russia Warns West Against Encouraging Middle East Protests


British Foreign Secretary William Hague, right, greets Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov as he arrives at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office for a bilateral meeting, in London, February 15, 2011

British Foreign Secretary William Hague, right, greets Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov as he arrives at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office for a bilateral meeting, in London, February 15, 2011

Russia's foreign minister says it can be "counter-productive" for the United States and the West to encourage the spread of revolutions and pro-democracy protests in the Middle East.

Sergei Lavrov says Russia has had its own revolution and does not need to be calling for others.

Lavrov made his comments Tuesday at a joint press conference in London with British Foreign Secretary William Hague, after the two diplomats held talks.

In recent weeks, popular uprisings have toppled long-standing regimes in Egypt and Tunisia. Anti-government demonstrators are now holding protests in Iran, Bahrain and Yemen.

On Monday, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton praised the Iranian demonstrators as courageous. Hague urged Iran's government to restrain itself from cracking down on protesters and to allow people to freely express their views.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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