Accessibility links

Bush Sees Tensions Between Russia And West --> Bush (left) was skeptical about Russian democracy under Putin (file photo) (epa) May 22, 2007 -- U.S. President George W. Bush says much tension exists between the West and Russia.

In an interview with the Reuters news agency, Bush said his message for President Vladimir Putin was that Russia's "interests lie in the West."

"My message to Vladimir Putin is there's a better way forward, and your interests lie in the West, and we ought to be working together in a collaborative way," Bush said.

Bush also voiced skepticism about Russia's path to democracy under Putin, renewing U.S. concerns about an erosion of the rule of law and free press in Russia.

"Just some of the decisions he's made have sent mixed signals to the West and mixed signals to me," Bush said.

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said last week after meeting Putin in Moscow that the two countries had agreed to tone down their public comments.

But the two remain divided over several issues, including a plan to give Kosovo independence from Serbia, Estonia's treatment of its Soviet past, and U.S. plans to place parts of a missile-defense system in Central Europe.

Planned Missile Shield 'Not Aimed At Moscow'

Earlier on May 21, Bush said he wanted to reassure Moscow that the planned U.S. missile-defense system does not target Russia.

Speaking after talks at his Texas ranch with NATO Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, Bush said he would "continue to reach out to Russia," adding that the planned shield was not directed at Moscow but at other nations "that could conceivably affect the peace of Europe."

U.S. plans to deploy missile interceptors in Poland and a radar site in the Czech Republic have angered Moscow.

(AFP, AP, dpa, Reuters)

EU-Russia Talks Go Nowhere
Recent EU-Russia talks ended with only a handful of agreements on improving economic cooperation. more
Security Council Divided On Kosovo
Despite a fact-finding mission sent to Belgrade and Kosovo on Russia's initiative, agreement appears distant. more
Democracy In Russia

Demonstrators in Moscow carry a coffin with a television in it to protest government control over broadcasting (TASS file photo)

DO RUSSIANS LIKE THEIR GOVERNMENT? During a briefing at RFE/RL's Washington office on November 15, Richard Rose, director of the Center for the Study of Public Policy at the University of Aberdeen, discussed the results of 14 surveys he has conducted since 1992 on Russian public opinion about democracy and the country's development. He discussed the implications of these opinions for relations with the West and for Russia's 2008 presidential election.


Listen to the complete discussion (about 42 minutes):
Real Audio Windows Media


U.S. Election Expected To Chill Relations With Moscow

Are Mayors Next 'Power Vertical' Victim?

Monarchist Nostalgia Remains Powerful

Russian Election Commission Rejects Third-Term Appeal

Romanov Burial May Be Part Of Kremlin Image Campaign


All of RFE/RL's English-language coverage of Russia.

UPDATED CONSTANTLY: Visit RFE/RL's Russian-language website, featuring news, analysis, features, streaming audio, and more, in Russian, from RFE/RL's Russian Service.