The Spectacle Blog

The Trouble With the “Reset Button”

By on 10.20.10 | 11:43PM

Josh Rogin reports:

The Obama administration is ignoring, and thereby enabling, the Russian government's gross abuse of human rights and its gutting of the country's democracy, according to Russia's former Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov.

"We have no democracy at all. We don't have any future of a democratic state. Everything has been lost, everything has been taken by the people by the authorities," Kasyanov said in a wide ranging interview with Foreign Policy. "The power has replaced all institutions ... like Parliament, like independent judiciary, like free media, etc. That's already obvious for everyone."

The former Russian head of government, who was ousted by current Prime Minister Vladimir Putin in 2004, is on a mission this week to send a two-fold message to U.S.-based Russia watchers: that the upcoming elections next year in Russia will not be free and fair, and that the "reset" policy of the Obama administration has wrongly caused the United States to abandon its role as a vocal critic of Russian democratic and human rights abuses.

Meanwhile, former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko complains that the West is ignoring increasing -- and pernicious -- Russian influence over her country.

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