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Bush Concerned About Freedoms In Russia --> Russian President Putin (left) and his U.S. counterpart, George W. Bush (file photo) (CTK) July 13, 2006 -- U.S. President George W. Bush said on July 13 he has concerns about freedoms in Russia, and plans to raise them with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Bush said he would tell Putin at the G8 summit in St. Petersburg that nongovernmental organizations should be allowed to function "without intimidation."

Bush was speaking at a joint press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.


Other Russia

Human rights activists Sergei Kovalyov (right) and Lyudmila Alekseyeva at the Other Russia conference in Moscow on July 11 (epa)

STATEMENT OF PRINCIPLES: Below is a translation of excerpts from the statement adopted by organizers of the Other Russia conference, which was held in Moscow on July 11-12. The conference brought together leading nongovernmental organizations and activists in an effort to show that Russian civil society continues to exist despite growing pressure from the Kremlin.

We are gathering because we are united by the most important thing -- our disagreement with the current course of the Kremlin and a growing alarm for the present and future of our motherland. We are gathering together, despite differences in our views about the past and the future of Russia. We are gathering together although we have differing conceptions of the paths our country must take toward freedom and development. Despite these differences, we are united by the following:
We, citizens of the Russian Federation, can achieve our stated goals only by observing, preserving, and demanding democratic principles of the organization of government and society; unshakeable human rights regardless of national, religious, or social status; respect for the views of others that do not contradict the Constitution of the Russian Federation; freedom of speech; honest political competition; and justice in the distribution of the national wealth, which is created by free people.
We oppose the transformation of Russia into a country ruled by bureaucratic whimsy; where the institutes of popular power and civil society are systematically destroyed; where the electoral process is completely controlled by the executive branch and, therefore, turned into a farce; and where the authorities demonstrate contempt for the interests of the majority of the population.

Lyudmila Alekseyeva, Moscow Helsinki Group; Viktor Anpilov, Working Russia; Mikhail Delyagin, Institute of Problems of Globalization; Yury Dzhibladze, Center for the Development of Democracy and Human Rights; Andrei Illarionov, Institute of Economic Analysis; Garry Kasparov, United Civic Front; Mikhail Kasyanov, Popular Democratic Union; Eduard Limonov, National Bolshevik Party; Yelena Lukyanova, lawer; Vladimir Ryzhkov, Republican Party; Georgy Satarov, INDEM foundation.


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