MOSCOW, September 26 (RIA Novosti)
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Russian President Vladimir Putin is striving to reestablish Russia as a regional hegemony and the West has been too slow to recognize that and react to the strategy, Czech Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg said on Wednesday, the CTK news agency reported.
"We are not going back to Stalin, we are going back to [Russian Tsar] Nicholas I," Schwarzenberg told The Cable blog of the U.S. magazine Foreign Policy.
"It was under Nicholas I that the greater part of Central Asia was conquered by the Russians and Putin is quite successfully getting them under the control of Russia again, and the West is losing."
The West must admit that Putin has installed an aggressive autocracy and it must deal with it, he said.
He said Putin was now reacting to the increasing unrest inside Russia by isolating Russia from the influence of Western society, for example by shutting down the U.S. Agency for International Development's mission in Moscow (USAID).
"By kicking it out, he indicated what he considers most dangerous for his autocracy," Schwarzenberg said.
"He is now afraid to meet the people and that indicates that he realizes the opposition exists and that it has become a force in Russian society," Schwarzenberg added.
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- pushkinlovReally?22:22, 26/09/2012The west is losing to Putin not because the alleged autocracy, but because the priorities of Putin is the Russian population and the welfare of the surrounding former Soviet republics. Russia is a stable country with a healthy economic grow trend. The Asian republics benefit from a strong and friendly Russia. Plenty of jobs are provided to Asian immigrants within Russia. Under the Tsar, poverty and despair dominated entire Russian territory and beyond. Certainly, economic integration was executed at the expense of millions of lives. Under Putin, there is a trend of increasing employment, political stability, and hopes for the young population, despite the efforts from the west to intrude into the Russian political and social environment.
- gunshipdemocracyto se ne vrati pane Schwarzenberg22:44, 26/09/2012Putin is kicking USAID BECAUSE thy are sponsoring saboteurs and unrests in Russia. This is NOT opposition. Mr Schwarzenberg your comments are like Czech movies ha ha ha
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During Vladimir Putin’s annual Q&A session some members of the Valdai International Discussion Club asked him several questions. How united is the West in its desire to punish Russia? Which EU countries are in favour of isolating Russia? Is this even possible? And what is going on in Ukraine?