2012-04-03 13:08:00

Foreign Ministry dismisses conjectures about anti-Sunni sentiments in Russia

Moscow, April 3, Interfax - Conjecture among political circles and the media in certain Arab countries is totally baseless, and Russia's policy excludes any sort of racial, ethnic or religious bias, the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

"There is and can be no anti-Sunni bias in the policy pursued by Russia, in which the majority of Muslims adhere to Sunni Islam. Our country has maintained deeply-rooted friendship, partnership and cooperation with Islamic states of both the Sunni and Shia traditions," Russian Foreign Ministry's Special Envoy Konstantin Shuvalov told the media, commenting on the allegations about an "anti-Sunni shift" in the Russian policy, according to the ministry's website.

The envoy, who is in charge of the relations with the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and other international and Russian Muslim organizations, is deeply concerned by clashes between Muslims and Christians and between Sunni and other adherents of Islamic movements in a number of countries in Asia and Africa, in particular, in certain Arab states in the Middle East, the website said.

"Russia's efforts are always aimed at maintaining mutual understanding, peaceful and harmonious co-existence of people of different faiths, to counter the incitement of hatred among them, the shifting of existing differences and conflicts into a delicate sphere of religious and sectarian relations," the diplomat said.