Russia's ambassador to Britain has defended his government's repeated blocks of United Nations sanctions over the crisis in Syria, saying the revolution should be "resolved by history alone" and that outside interference was "utterly arrogant".
Russia and China, both permanent UN Security Council members, have blocked efforts to have the council censure Syria's Bashar al-Assad regime.
Writing for The Huffington Post UK, Alexander Yakovenko said Russia's position was one of principle. "Revolution releases elemental forces, and the way they play out is resolved by history alone.
"To think that an outsider knows better is utterly arrogant. Based on our own experience of Revolution and Civil War, we know that when every participant fights for their vision of their country, the logic of armed struggle inevitably brings the most ruthless on top for people, among other things, fight for their lives."
He pointed to the revolutions of Europe to show that major change in a country did not necessarily preclude future bloodshed, like the First and Second World War.
Yakovenko said his government would encourage "moderation and engage in an inclusive political dialogue" and that Russia's take on the situation was similar to many left-wing, anti-interventionist commentators, like the Guardian's Seamus Milne.
"Colonial history cannot be wished away in the Middle East and other regions. Why then shifting blame on to Russia?
"We have never dominated this region. We have nothing to atone for. We have no vested interest in preserving the status quo.
"But history has a lot to do with the Arab Spring, the ways events have been unfolding over the past year and a half.
"The absolute minimum we owe to the peoples of the region and our international partners are honesty and openness. We'll never engage in Great Games there or anywhere else."
Russia and China have jointly vetoed three rounds of sanctions against Assad. An estimated 20,000 people have died in the country since March last year, according to the UN. Syrian officials say the number is just 8,000.
Suggested For You
SUBSCRIBE AND FOLLOW
Get top stories and blog posts emailed to me each day. Newsletters may offer personalized content or advertisements.Learn more