Lavrov: forced democracy is useless

Lavrov: forced democracy is useless


Voice of Russia, 1 December 2012

In the present-day world, attempts to instill democracy by force are counter-productive. A statement to this effect was made by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov during a session of the Russian Council on Foreign and Defense Policy. Even though the Russian foreign minister did not mention specific countries, his statements came as a direct response to criticism from the West regarding Moscow’s position on Syria and “export of democracy” in general. “Export of democracy” is akin to “export of revolution”.

The war in Iraq serves as a good example of what the method of planting democracy by force could lead to. Moscow is worried over the attempts by some countries to portray the “Libyan model” as a precedent. Sergei Lavrov reminded the participants in the Council’s meeting that using force without any authorization from the UN Security Council could lead to far-reaching consequences.

"Attempts to export a specific political system to other countries could encourage extremists and delay democratic changes. This issue is of tremendous importance and is closely related to that of future world order. Russia is not standing in the way of western influence or obstructing West-initiated projects out of spite. The matter is that the method of promoting democracy by saber-rattling doesn’t work. We’ve witnessed it over and over again, in the last few days and in the past few months."

No one can predict what track the developments in the Middle East will take in the near future. As for the “Libyan model”, Sergei Lavrov meant the beginning of NATO and US bombardments of Libya in 2011. Under the pretext of “humanitarian intervention, NATO and the US de facto supported one party to the conflict. Now that the regime of Muammar Gaddafi is gone, the situation in Libya is far from normal. A similar model is currently being applied to Syria.

Russia has also expressed concern that tensions are building up worldwide on account of such a policy. Sergei Lavrov comments.

"What is worrying is that at times of crises one is tempted to resort to military methods. Some of our partners find these methods suitable."

The Russian Council on Foreign and Defense Policy which was established in 1992 is an independent public association that enjoys a lot of authority with the Russian society. Consisting of politicians, leaders of think tanks, businessmen, scientists, journalists, the Council provides the outlines and exercises judgment on all aspects of Russia’s national strategy, including foreign policy, defense and creation of civil society.

Imposing foreign standards on other countries may strengthen extremism – Lavrov

The imposition of one’s political and socio-economic standards on other countries may serve to strengthen extremist forces, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told a meeting of the Foreign and Defence Policy Council in Moscow on Saturday.

He said this backfires more often than not and may serve to strengthen the extremist and repressive forces, while pushing back prospects for a truly democratic change.

According to the Russian Foreign Minister, it’s not a question of Russia’s countering western influence, but, rather, the realization that the policy of advancing democracy by “sword and blood” methods doesn’t work.

According to the Russian Foreign Minister, the danger of this kind of “forced democracy implanting” is that it wreaks havoc and may result in a global crisis of governance.

Voice of Russia, Interfax