Gorbachev: Don’t Push Putin On Rights


Richard Moore

Original source URL:

Gorbachev: Don't Push Putin On Rights
by UPI Wire
Jun 25, 2006

LONDON, June 25, 2006 (UPI) -- Mikhail Gorbachev, the last leader of the former 
Soviet Union, is cautioning Western nations against interfering in Russia's 
domestic affairs.

In an interview with The London Times, Gorbachev said it would be 
counterproductive for Western leaders to put pressure on Russian President 
Vladimir Putin over human rights at next month's G8 summit in St Petersburg, 

"Russia is not anyone's domain," said Gorbachev. "Russia will work these things 
out -- together with our partners and friends."

Gorbachev said world leaders can "raise whatever they want" at the G8 meetings, 
but he said pressuring Putin over human rights would strengthen his hand 
domestically "because in essence his position is very close to the aspirations 
of the people."

"I have said myself that Putin has made mistakes," said Gorbachev. "But the 
principles of democracy are realized in a specific context, and you have to bear
in mind the Russian historical, economic and social situation."

Copyright 2006 United Press International

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