Saturday, July 01, 2006

Russia chastises U.S. over energy [rather realistic evaluation, if you ask me...don't go red or blue on me, do some research]

President Vladimir Putin's top political adviser Wednesday accused the United States of seeking international energy domination under the guise of promoting democracy and insisted that Russia is committed to building its own style of political pluralism without outside interference.

"When our partners interpret energy security as full control over our energy resources, I think we have a right to understand it differently," said Vladislav Surkov, deputy head of the presidential administration and the architect of some of Putin's most controversial steps to reassert the power of the state in Russia.

"People talk to us about democracy, but they're really thinking about our energy resources," Surkov said.

He noted that during Vice President Dick Cheney's recent visit to Kazakhstan, an oil-rich state whose human-rights record is often criticized, the American "harshly criticized Russia's democracy and then praised Kazakhstan's.

"Kazakhstan is our brother and neighbor, but I'll never believe they've advanced further in the cause of democracy than Russia has," he said. "We know our flaws. But we don't get involved in things that are not our business, and we'd like to be treated in the same way."


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