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Mikhail Margelov (file photo) (RFE/RL)
March 1, 2007 -- Russia's Foreign Ministry today rejected U.S. criticism that it is backsliding on democracy.
Spokesman Andrei Krivtsov said the criticism by Michael McConnell, the new U.S. director of national intelligence, reflects "outdated, obsolete ideas."
Krivtsov said McConnell had spent too much time as a Sovietologist and his evaluation had "no foundation."
The Russian Federation Council, the upper house of parliament, has also dismissed the U.S. accusations.
"Let's not forget that if we compare the Russian and U.S. military budgets, the difference between them is not even in tens but in hundreds of times,” said Mikhail Margelov, the head of the council’s Foreign Affairs Committee. “So, in my opinion, to say that Russia could present a threat to the United States is not serious."