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10:49 Sep 28 2011

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Russian Foreign Minister calls Dalai Lama symbol of 'Tibet independence'
16:26, May 21, 2010  

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov held two discussions during the recent week on Russia's position on the Dalai Lama issue, noting that Russia is opposed to linking religious issues with politics, according to a report by the Global Times on May 21.

The foreign minister held the talks because there has been some domestic controversy on whether Russia should contact the Dalai Lama after the Russian Foreign Ministry refused a visit application from the Dalai Lama to its Republic of Kalmykia.

Lavrov said the Dalai Lama has always attempted to take advantage of his religious role to meet goals that have nothing to do with religion. In the eyes of numerous foreigners, the Dalai Lama has become a symbol of the "Tibet independence."

In response to Lavrov's remarks, China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Ma Zhaoxu said on May 20 that as China's strategic partner, Russia has always firmly supported China's positions and principles on Tibet-related issues. China has highly praised Russia's position.

According to a report by Russia-based Interfax on May 20, Lavrov said on May 19 at the State Duma, the lower house of the Federal Assembly, that the normalization of relations between China and the Dalai Lama mainly depends on the Dalai Lama's stance.

"China has sufficient reasons not to resume contact with the Dalai Lama as long as he continues to make provocative statements and engage in political activities," Lavrov said.

Whether the Dalai Lama acknowledges this or not, he has become a symbol of "Tibet independence."

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