27 Apr 2011

Risk of civil wars across Middle East seen by Russia

7:45 am on 27 April 2011

Russia says the western military intervention in Libya risks fanning a series of civil wars across the Middle East.

Foreign minister Sergei Lavrov says western nations have sided with the Libyan rebels and in the process have encouraged rebel movements in other countries to think they would receive similar help.

Mr Lavrov describes it as contagious and an invitation to a series of civil wars.

Russia abstained from a recent United Nations resolution authorising a no-fly zone to protect Libyan civilians.