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Putin: Russia Could Not Have Influenced Arab Spring due to Limited Abilities

© Sputnik / Andrei Stenin  / Go to the photo bankArab Spring protests in the Libyan city of Benghazi
Arab Spring protests in the Libyan city of Benghazi - Sputnik International
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Russia could not influence the developments of the Arab Spring because Moscow's abilities were limited at the time, Vladimir Putin said.

VLADIVOSTOK (Sputnik) — Former Russian Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov, a Middle East expert, guided by his experience and intuition, foresaw the consequences of the Arab Spring, but Russia could not do anything to influence the course of events at the time, Russian President Vladimir Putin said in a televised interview on Sunday.

"Of course, relying on his knowledge of the region, especially the Middle East, and based on his experience and intuition, he [Primakov] could foresee a lot, and he foresaw the negative consequences of the future so-called Arab Spring. I am sure that, if he was listened to, then perhaps there would be no such developments," Putin told an NTV show.

The President noted that at the time, Russia’s possibilities were limited, saying "we [Moscow] could not directly, in practical terms affect the development of events."

"Especially as the key players in the international arena have preferred to not rely on rules of international law, and have based their actions on their geopolitical interests and aims, putting them at the heart of their practice in the international arena," the Russian president elaborated.

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The so-called Arab Spring protests shook the Middle East in 2011. In Syria, the protests resulted in clashes between the government forces and opposition. Since then, the Middle Eastern country has been mired in a war, which involves the Syrian army, numerous opposition factions, as well as terrorist groups, and which has resulted in hundreds of thousands of casualties.

Primakov, who served as Russia's prime minister in 1998-1999, passed away last year.

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