Russia will not accept attempts to escalate pressure on the events in the Middle East and North Africa, swept by unrest, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said during a telephone conversation with the Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa.
Mass uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia brought the ruling regimes in the countries to the end. From Bahrain to Yemen, from Algeria to Libya, unrest has spread across the Muslim world in recent weeks as the "Arab street" vents its anger on entrenched and authoritarian leaders.
"Russian Foreign Minister reaffirmed fundamental rejection of attempts to escalate an external pressure on the course of events in the region and called for constructive engagement of the international and Arab communities in the promotion of democratic transformation and to solve the most pressing issues currently raising in the countries of the Middle East and North Africa," the Foreign Ministry's said in a statement on its website.
The ministry said earlier in the day that Russia should consolidate its positions in the Middle East and North Africa.
"Major changes happening in the Middle East area affecting vital interests of Russia," the ministry said. "Now ensuring safety of Russian citizens living permanently or temporarily in the Middle East and North Africa has to be prioritized, first of all. More intensive work to consolidate Russian position in the region on new terms was launched at the same time as a priority."
The final fourth plane carrying Russians to Moscow from Libya has taken off, a spokesman for Russia's Emergency Situations Ministry said on Wednesday.
Russia has sent four airplanes to evacuate a total of 563 Russians from Libya, hit by mass anti-government protests.
Russia is also sending a passenger vessel, which can hold 1,000 people, from Montenegro on Wednesday. The ship will take on Russian, Turkish and Serbian passengers working in Libya under a contract with the Russian Railways. Once the passengers are on board, the vessel will head to Istanbul.
According to international organizations, up to 500 people have been killed and up to 4,000 wounded in clashes with government forces in Libya since protests against longtime leader Muammar Gaddafi's regime began on February 15.
MOSCOW, February 23 (RIA Novosti)