Moscow: Russia`s Foreign Minister on Wednesday said
that China was justified in refusing to deal with the Dalai
Lama because of the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader`s
"Beijing has well-founded reasons for saying it will not
have contacts with the Dalai Lama as long as he makes
provocative statements and engages in political activities,"
said Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
"The Dalai Lama has, perhaps unwillingly, become a symbol
of Tibetan separatism for many foreign leaders," Lavrov told
the Russian parliament.
"If this impression could be overcome, if he concentrated
exclusively on religious activities, then I think there would
be no obstacles to the normalisation of relations between him
The Dalai Lama, who is based in India, has visited Russia
several times, most recently during a 2004 trip to the
traditionally Buddhist region of Kalmykia located on the
shores of the Caspian Sea.
Since then, however, Russia has refused to grant him a
visa out of concerns that it would offend China at a time when
Moscow has been keen to build friendly relations with Beijing.
China calls the Dalai Lama a "wolf in monk`s clothing"
and accuses him of seeking to split the country, although the
spiritual leader has repeatedly said he accepts Beijing`s rule
and is only seeking "meaningful autonomy" for Tibet.