Russia slams 'wave of violence' that forced Morales to resign

AFP . Moscow | Update:

In this file picture taken on 20 September 2000 the Bolivian leader of coca growers Evo Morales (R) talks with Bolivian Army Colonel Waldo Rocabado in Villa Tunari, Bolivia, some 600 km (370 miles) east of La Paz, minutes before Bolivian army and police forces used tear gas against farmers blocking the highway from Cochabamba to Santa Cruz. Photo: AFPRussia on Monday condemned opposition protests in Bolivia that led to the resignation of president Evo Morales, pointing to a "staged coup d'etat".

"We view with concern the dramatic development of events in Bolivia, where the wave of violence unleashed by the opposition did not allow Evo Morales to complete his presidential mandate," the foreign ministry said in a statement.

Russia expressed "deep concern" over the events, which it said "followed the scenario of a staged coup d'etat".

It said that Morales' government had been ready to seek "constructive solutions on the basis of dialogue."

"We call on all political forces in Bolivia to show common sense and responsibility," the statement said, pressing for a "constitutional way out of the situation."

Morales last visited president Vladimir Putin in Moscow in July. The Bolivian leader's position on backing leftist governments in Cuba and Venezuela matched that of Russia.

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