Discussion in 'Europe' started by onedomino, Apr 20, 2005.
Putin has been in a bad place for awhile. There is no doubt that the 'reformation' if you will is not complete and not going well. It's hard to say if he is consolidating the power of the presidency in an attempt to regain control over some of the former satellites or just to stop the hemorrhaging. In any case, it does not bode well for US/Russian relations.
This will be a tense situation for a good while to come. In the end, how Putin reacts to the growth of democracy around his nation will be the key. Does he embrace it and help support/develop it, in order to keep Russia's own borders strong and its near region secure and stable from Islamic extremism and secessionist movements? Or will he give in to jealousy, anger and old glories and try to undermine them? If he is unwilling himself to make Russia more democratic, but steps aside in 2008, we should not punish him and should try to strengthen our relations with Russia. However, if he seems quite intent on securing even more power for himself and makes no effort to show he is going to step aside in 2008, we should continue to hold our relations with Russia in a critical, always developing and evolving light.
I think the presidents of USA and Russia are to meet in May? Also NATO and Russia signed some sort of agreement, on troops passing each others territory amogst others. Maybe things will ease up?
Rice is kind of cool, she says Belarus is the last true dictatorship in Europe. (She doen't know about my wife)
The only interest Putin has shown in democracy was the suppression of the Ukrainian poll results. He has ripped off the Russian oil industry because its principle member was a political rival, he took away the right to vote for regional governors, and he has suppressed the media. Whats next? Rename the FSB to KGB?
RUSSIA DOWNGRADED TO NOT FREE
Putins Russia Declines Amidst Further Political Restrictions, Increased Authoritarianism
Other Setbacksand Gainsin Former Soviet Union
Modest Advances Registered in Middle East
NEW YORK, December 20, 2004 -- Political rights and civil liberties have become so restricted in Russia that the country has been downgraded to "Not Free," Freedom House announced in a major survey of global freedom released today.
The global survey, "Freedom in the World," shows that Russia was the only country to register a negative category change in 2004, moving from Partly Free to Not Free. However, Russia was not the only country in the former Soviet Union that experienced political and civic changes: setbacks took place in Belarus and Armenia, while freedom gained in the aftermath of civic protests in Georgia and Ukraine.
"Russia's step backwards into the Not Free category is the culmination of a growing trend under President Vladimir Putin to concentrate political authority, harass and intimidate the media, and politicize the country's law-enforcement system," said Freedom House Executive Director, Jennifer Windsor. "These moves mark a dangerous and disturbing drift toward authoritarianism in Russia, made more worrisome by President Putin's recent heavy-handed meddling in political developments in neighboring countries such as Ukraine."
Putin is still very popular with the Russian public. The economy
thanks to the increased oil revenue did well but in the end
his corrupt government will be in trouble.
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