Is Russia fit to become the next G8 leader? --TimesOnline
WHEN Andrei Illarionov joined the Kremlin as an economic adviser in 2000, he and most of the Western world were convinced that Russia was finally heading towards a brighter, freer future. For five years he advised President Putin and headed Russia’s negotiations with the G8, which Russia joined in 1997 as a reward for its liberal political and economic reforms.The Case Against Putin's Russia
But yesterday — five days before Russia takes over the rotating G8 presidency for the first time — Mr Illarionov resigned from the Kremlin, saying that his country was no longer politically or economically free.
“It is one thing to work in a country that is partly free. It is another thing when the political system has changed, and the country has stopped being free and democratic,” he told reporters. “I did not go to work for such a country.”
COUNTS AGAINST THE KREMLINTimes Online
1 President Putin has re-established direct or indirect control over all national TV channels and most newspapers
2 The Kremlin scrapped direct elections for regional governors this year
3 Russia’s hardline policies in the North Caucasus, especially Chechnya, are radicalising Muslims in neighbouring republics and around the world
4 The oil company Yukos was effectively renationalised and its founder, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, jailed this year in what was widely seen as punishment for his meddling in politics
5 The Duma passed a Bill last week allowing the Kremlin to shut down NGOs that criticise its policies
6 Russia is helping Iran to build a nuclear reactor and sold Tehran $1 billion of weapons last month
7 Moscow is blocking moves to censure Syria over the assassination of Rafik Hariri, the former Lebanese Prime Minister
8 Kremlin has backed Uzbekistan’s autocratic regime over the massacre of protesters in the city of Andijan
9 Russia maintains troops in Transdniester, a separatist region of Moldova, despite committing to withdraw them in 1999
10 Moscow is trying to reform the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe to prevent it from criticising rigged elections in the former Soviet Union
Here we go again! The West seems so very soliticious of all these tyrants. You get rid of one, and half a dozen other tyrants spring up in the world, each with its own following of terrorists.