NOVO-OGARYOVO, September 27 (RIA Novosti)
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President Vladimir Putin criticized Western countries again on Thursday over their conduct in connection with the civil war in Syria.
"The main thing is that our partners cannot stop. Having already created an atmosphere of chaos in many countries, they are now continuing that policy in others, in particular Syria," he said.
Speaking at a meeting in his residence outside Moscow with a delegation of local residents from Russia's Ryazan Region, Putin said his position on the Middle East is "to facilitate a change for the better in those countries, but not impose, particularly by force, what we think is right, and stir up internal events."
"We have warned of the need to tread carefully, not impose any force, which leads to chaos. And what do we see now? A situation much like chaos," he said, adding that Russia has never forced its own will on any other country.
Citing the historical example of the Roman Empire's invasion of Carthage, he said it would be "very unfortunate" if a similar scenario were to be repeated today.
"In my view, something like this is already happening, when strong nations are trying to impose their own rules of conduct and moral codes on weaker states," without properly considering the historical and social contexts, Putin said.
He added that Russia has enjoyed an advantage over other countries because it was multi-ethnic and multi-faith state.
"Our leading religion, Orthodox Christianity, has always been tolerant toward other faiths," he said.
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Russia has become very adept in playing the diplomatic game, in which victory depends on choosing the right associate or partner. But there are a growing number of claimants to this role in the new horizontal and interdependent world. Aside Syria and Iran, being still important, the new venues for the application of practical diplomacy may well be Ukraine, the East China Sea and Afghanistan.