Quote of the Day
I think we have very steady records of President Putin, who inherited the country with democratic values.
We've been saying Putin is a dictator for years who doesn't care about the law.
Putin is like Al Capone.
Putin recognized that if he could get enough money, everything would be under control.
Putin can't afford to leave the office because he will be in real danger of being prosecuted for things he and his people did during their stay in power.
There are many facts showing that Putin's people enriched themselves by using power mechanisms so that's why for them losing power means losing their fortunes.
The only successor to President Putin is President Putin himself and we could of course dream about President Putin stepping down voluntarily and picking out successor which would be probably as bad as him.
More and more people in my country recognise the dangers of having their governors appointed by Putin and having no influence in parliament because Parliament today is also following instructions from Kremlin and no longer represents its people.
As far as my relationship with President Putin is concerned, it's fine.
True, Putin's Russia does not dream of joining the E.U., but Russia's stability depends on preserving the European nature of its regime.
In 2008, Putin's message was, 'We aren't like a Central Asian republic, we aren't going to build a personalistic regime, we will have institutions.' This is all abolished now. The very idea of a governing party and party career, as you have in China, that didn't work.
The post-Cold War order in Europe is finished, with Vladimir Putin its executioner. Russia's invasion of Georgia only marked its passing. Russia has emerged as a born-again 19th-century power determined to challenge the intellectual, moral and institutional foundations of the order.
Putin and his advisers don't understand the power of public opinion in the West. They believe in conspiracy theories and that someone is orchestrating a malicious campaign against Russia. They don't realize that even conservative politicians have to react when newspapers and artists express their concern on such an issue.
Russia under President Putin is less democratic and less free today than when he assumed office. If Russia cannot fulfill its obligation to the G-8 and maintain a high standard of democratic governance then its membership should be suspended.
Putin has a lot at stake here and restoring the relationship with the United States, and there are already signs as Sandy mentioned that he's moving in the right direction to begin to ascertain that their trade with Iran is not used for the production of nuclear weapons.
I'm not going into personal details of meetings I have with anybody, be it John Howard or President Bush or President Putin or President Yeltsin, in years gone by, whoever it may be, I'm not going into that.
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