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The Daily Vertical: Rules For Russia (Transcript)

The views expressed in this commentary do not necessarily reflect the views of RFE/RL.

Earlier this week, Vladimir Putin instructed his diplomats to seek changes to international doping regulations to make the rules "fair" and "transparent."

Putin wasn't specific about what this would mean.

It's unclear what exactly the Kremlin thinks unfair or nontransparent about current international doping regulations and what he thinks needs to be changed.

And until he decides to make this clear, we won't know.

But what we do know is that Putin didn't seem to have any problem with the rules as they are -- until, of course, Russia got caught red-handed breaking them again, and again, and again.

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And this is pretty much emblematic of the Putin regime's approach, not just to doping rules, but to all rules -- but only as they apply to Russia.

Putin's Kremlin wants the rest of the world to follow international law -- but it effectively seeks an exemption from rules that forbid Russia from invading its neighbors and forcefully annexing their territory.

It insists on the absolute sanctity of Russia's sovereignty -- while reserving the right to violate the sovereignty of Russia's neighbors.

It warns the West against interfering in Russia's elections -- while flagrantly interfering in the elections in Western countries.

It doesn't obey rules that prohibit corruption and money laundering and doesn't obey rules against hacking.

By its words and deeds, the Putin regime has demonstrated over and over that it wants the rest of the world to follow the rules -- while Russia gets an exception.

And just as this gives Russia's chemically enhanced athletes an unfair advantage in sports, it also gives Moscow an asymmetrical advantage in foreign affairs and advances the Kremlin's revanchist ambitions.

Keep telling me what you think on The Power Vertical's Twitter feed and on our Facebook page.

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