Russia terms Rohingya issue as internal affairs, it urges other states to refrain from interfering


International desk, September 16: The Russian government has supported efforts to settle Rohingya crisis in Myanmar and called on other states to refrain from interfering in the country’s internal affairs, according to Russian state-owned Sputnik International issued on Friday.

‘It is important to understand that the intention to meddle in the internal affairs of a sovereign state may result in further deterioration of an inter-religious conflict. I stress that we welcome efforts to establish inter-religious dialogue in Myanmar, with engagement of religious leaders of all faiths,’ Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Friday.

Russia, a powerful permanent member of the UN Security Council, made the statement on Rakhine matters amid many regional and global powers statements concerning the crisis in Myanmar over violence against ethnic minority Rohingyas.

The spokeswoman noted, without mentioning about persecution of ethnic minority Rohingyas in Rakhine State by Myanmar security forces, that Myanmar authorities were taking steps to return the internally displaced people to their homes and expressed hope that the same measures would also be taken for other categories of people affected by the crisis.

Nearly 4,00,000 minority Rohingyas, mostly women, children and aged people, fled violence and persecution during ‘security operations’ by Myanmar military in Rakhine to Bangladesh since August 25, raising a total number of undocumented Myanmar nationals and registered refugees in Bangladesh to over 8,00,000.

The United Nations Security Council convened a discussion on Rohingya crisis on Thursday, and called for immediate steps to end the violence and ensure the protection of civilians in the violence-torn Myanmar.

The Security Council members expressed concern about the reports of excessive violence during the security operations and called for immediate steps to end the violence, de-escalate the situation, ensure the protection of civilians and resolve the refugee problem.