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Putin: Russia Had No Role In Kyrgyz Events

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin says Russia has played no role in the events unfolding in Kyrgyzstan.

Putin said on April 7 that he had been taken by "surprise" by the apparent ouster by opposition supporters of the government of President Kurmanbek Bakiev.

Putin also criticized Bakiev's government for possibly repeating the mistakes of previous ruler Askar Akaev, who was ousted in 2005.

Putin said he had the impression that Bakiev may have stepped into the same trap as Akaev by appointing relatives or friends to top economic and political posts. Putin said, however, that this remains a domestic issue for Kyrgyzstan.

The Russian prime minister also added his voice to those calling for restraint and calm in Kyrgyzstan. In a separate statement, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said the events were Kyrgyzstan's internal affair, but that the unrest showed what he described as extreme outrage among ordinary people at the Bakiev government.

compiled from agency reports