Moscow is remaining conspicuously silent on the Egyptian crisis as the Kremlin worries about the possibility that the fall of President Hosni Mubarak’s regime in Cairo could create a ripple effect in the authoritarian-minded states of Russia’s near abroad, analysts say.
Anti-government protests in Egypt have already invigorated opposition activists in several members of the Commonwealth of Independent States, including Belarus, Armenia and Azerbaijan. “For Russia, it [the events in Cairo] is a kind of Color Revolution. That’s why they are very afraid of it,” said Alexei Malashenko, a political scientist at the Carnegie Moscow Center.
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Tom Balmforth is a freelance journalist who writes about Russia and the Caucasus.