x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Vladimir Putin warns against interference from West

Russian prime minister says the world faced a growing "cult of violence" as he issued a warning to the West against interference.

MOSCOW // Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said yesterday the world faced a growing "cult of violence" and Russia must not let events such as those in Libya and Syria be repeated in Russia as he issued a warning to the West against interference.

"We of course condemn all violence regardless of its source, but one cannot act like an elephant in a china shop," Mr Putin told Russian religious leaders at a meeting as talk turned to Libya and Syria.

"Help them, advise them, limit, for instance, their ability to use weapons but [do] not interfere under any circumstances," said Mr Putin, whose country vetoed a United Nations Security Council resolution last week backing an Arab League call for Syria's president to cede power.

"A cult of violence has been coming to the fore in international affairs in the past decade," he said. "This cannot fail to cause concern ... and we must not allow anything like this in our country."

Mr Putin, who is running in a presidential election next month, has often criticised the United States and its Nato allies over its use of military force abroad, from the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003 to a Nato air campaign that helped Libyan rebels drive Muammar Qaddafi from power last year.

He has also accused his political enemies, who have since December staged the biggest opposition protests of his 12-year rule, of receiving financial and other support from the US and Europe.