Look Deeper Into 'Putin's Soul'

For the first time since President Bush said he looked into Vladimir Putin's soul and liked what he saw in the Russian leader, the United States has bluntly stated there's a limit to the friendly ties between the two nations.

Secretary of State Colin Powell delivered the message during a visit to Moscow this week, saying Russia's "managed democracy" and bullying of its neighbors could hinder the relationship. Just what the US might do if Mr. Putin doesn't shape up was left unsaid. But at least he's on notice.

At home, Putin is riding high in the polls as he heads for easy reelection next month, and can easily ignore this US jab. He's managed to gain control of most media and isolate his political opponents in what increasingly looks like an old Asian-style democracy rather than a true Western one.

Putin's belief that civil liberties should run second to security and economic concerns for now should have the West worried. It may be difficult to create a vibrant multiparty democracy if Putin's authoritarianism grows. That's especially true if he tries to amend the Constitution to let him run again in 2008.

Mr. Powell's friendly criticism is likely to need a follow-up soon.

About these ads
Sponsored Content by LockerDome

We want to hear, did we miss an angle we should have covered? Should we come back to this topic? Or just give us a rating for this story. We want to hear from you.

Loading...

Loading...

Loading...

Save for later

Save
Cancel

Saved ( of items)

This item has been saved to read later from any device.
Access saved items through your user name at the top of the page.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You reached the limit of 20 saved items.
Please visit following link to manage you saved items.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You have already saved this item.

View Saved Items

OK