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Born at the Crest of the Empire

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Putin's smackdowns continue

Obviously, Vladimir Putin has decided he's not going to take anymore crap from the Bush administration. First, there was his mention of the Vice President shooting a man in the face, and now this:
During a joint news conference Saturday in St. Petersburg, Bush said he raised concerns about democracy in Russia during a frank discussion with the Russian leader.

"I talked about my desire to promote institutional change in parts of the world, like Iraq where there's a free press and free religion, and I told him that a lot of people in our country would hope that Russia would do the same," Bush said.

To that, Putin replied, "We certainly would not want to have the same kind of democracy that they have in Iraq, quite honestly."


Snap. It must be nice to have a smart leader. (The White House transcript adds "(Laughter.)" after the comment.)

I'm going to leave aside the obvious "looked into his soul" snark and point out that the US blocking Russia's entry into the WTO does not point to a warming relationship.

(Maybe it has something to do with this: "Russia's World Trade Organization bid hinges on a gas trade pact with the United States that both sides want to reach before this weekend's Group of 8 summit. The deal would also have ramifications for at least two U.S. oil companies....")

2 Comments:

  • I thought Putins remark about Democracy in Iraq was quite a good shot.

    Bush stopping Russia's entry into the WTO, was a better shot. Putin really wanted to be in that group.

    Putin's early communist training gives him no clue how to react when things get tough, except to clamp down.

    I used to think that Putin was serious about advancing to a more open society, I was wrong.

    By Blogger Time, at 3:32 PM  

  • I haven't seen it, but apparently, Bush was quite flustered at the Putin remark.

    I find the WTO spat very interesting against the background of all the foreign policy conflicts.

    Putin was the main man at the KGB. I don't know what his specific goals are regarding democracy and the future of Russia, but he is a very shrewd operator.

    Mike

    By Blogger mikevotes, at 3:38 PM  

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