Yekaterinburg, August 5, Interfax - The United States administration was not involved in May's protests in Yekaterinburg against the building of a St. Catherine's Church in the city center, U.S. Consul General Paul Carter told the Ekho Moskvy radio on Monday.
"As for the protest that took place here about the building of the cathedral, I think some people want to believe that somehow this was instigated by the United States, but I can assure you that our consulate and the United States had nothing to do with those protests," Carter said.
The matter was entirely for Russian citizens, he said.
"It's really not our concern whether or not the cathedral is built or where. This is an issue for Russians to decide amongst themselves. We are concerned, however, about violence, any violence that might take place at the protest or did take place at those protests. We believe that such matters are better resolved through peaceful negotiations and a political process," Carter said.
The protests were held in mid-May against the construction of the church near a drama theater in Oktyabrskaya Square. Later the city authorities said they would conduct a public opinion poll. The poll is due this fall.