MOSCOW (Reuters) - A wave of protests sweeping North Africa and the Middle East this year could undermine stability in Russia and its neighbours, Russian president Dmitry Medvedev said on a visit to Tashkent on Tuesday. In remarks broadcast on Russian state television, Medvedev told Uzbek leader Islam Karimov he hoped events in the region would develop in a way "that is clear and predictable for us". "We are linked with many of these states by a large quantity of unseen threads... not only economic relations, trade relations, but a mass of humanitarian and cultural ties," he said. "They can be very positive, but can have a difficult and sometimes even destructive character."