Skip to comments.Russia falls short of G8 standards: UK think-tank
Posted on 06/24/2006 6:15:23 PM PDT by NormsRevenge
LONDON (Reuters) - Russia does not meet democratic standards for membership of the Group of Eight and its leadership of the rich nations' club risks destroying the G8's credibility, a British think-tank said on Sunday.
Russia has gone backwards in its respect for democracy and civil liberties since it took over the presidency of the G8 in January, the Foreign Policy Center said in a report published before a Group of Eight summit in St. Petersburg on July 15-17.
The Foreign Policy Center is an independent think-tank whose patron is British Prime Minister Tony Blair.
"(Russian President Vladimir) Putin's record is no longer in doubt," the report's author, Hugh Barnes, told Reuters.
"He has systematically dismantled Russian democracy and that very fact in some ways makes a mockery of the G8," said Barnes, director of the center's "Future of Russia Programme."
The report said the Russian economy -- expected to move up to 10th in the world this year from 12th -- was not big enough for the G8, intended to group the world's largest economies, and that Russia was neither politically nor economically free.
"Moscow's leadership of the G8 is in danger of reducing the group's credibility and relevance to zero," the report said, urging other G8 nations to develop a concerted policy "to force Putin to live up to his international obligations."
Putin has rejected similar criticisms of Russia's record on democracy in the past.
The report noted, however, that Russia holds the world's largest natural gas reserves and its oil reserves may equal those of Iraq. "As world energy demand grows ... Russia's wealth and potential power are certain to grow as well," it said.
The Group of Seven leading industrial democracies -- the United States, Japan, Germany, Britain, France, Italy and Canada -- have gradually integrated Russia since the early 1990s into their club to foster democracy and economic reform there. But the report said things had not worked out that way.
It rated Moscow against the G8's founding principles of democracy and economic stability, finding that Russia had failed to comply with G8 norms on open society and rule of law.
California has a larger economy than Russia, with a smaller population and less natural resources (and not having a long, direct cultural history to draw a lot of tourists (though the movie industry draws a relatively large amounts) the way European countries do (France is the most popular tourist destination although it is much smaller than the United States)).
It is wise of the G7 countries to notice that Russia is not living up the standards of a free, economically prosperous country -- since its government has returned to a policy of statism, nationalization, expropriation, and political oppression. The Western world should send a stronger signal to Putin that he should liberalize or be cut off from ties with respectable Western powers.
G. Stolyarov II
"(Russian President Vladimir) Putin's record is no longer in doubt," the report's author, Hugh Barnes, told Reuters. "He has systematically dismantled Russian democracy and that very fact in some ways makes a mockery of the G8," said Barnes, director of the center's "Future of Russia Programme."I wonder how long it will take before the Usual Suspects from the FSB show up to say, Move Along, nothing to see here....
Well, there is indeed nothing new to see here - everything could have been expected and predicted. In other news: the second apple has fallen on the head of Sir Isaac Newton. 'This confirms the law of gravity', said the prominent scientist.
Ah, a Usual Suspect so soon...I think we can take your standard and the polls they rest on with more than a grain of salt: As Putin arrests and prosecutes his enemies, silences opposition press, and destroys democracy. The Russian Sheeple all just bleat, and say, "Yes Master!"
yeah, except people aren't molecules.
I see where you're coming from here. That people take leave of their autonomy in groups is a phenomenon. Thought you were making a blind application of mechanical science to the human soul, where no such application is fit.
well, here you lose me. the beautiful thing about being human is the supernatural component.
Thanks for the ping!
Probably some of the "inside the tent urinating out..." POV too.
the position that people are molecules is folly and denial.
Bump for later read.
I put my money on my gut. Attempts to treat humans like molecules lead to gas chambers in the end. Always have, always will.
they may behave like molecules at times, but they are not. You can treat a car like a boat because it will float for a few seconds, but after that, you're sunk.
See what intellectual laziness and lack of curiosity lead to?
You have had all the info necessary for the answer, because preciously little info was needed: the sweep had to be selected on the basis of conformity to... [drumroll, please!] the corporate culture prevalent in the place. This conformity allowed for an easy prediction of WHAT he would be - not of WHO he would be - but "who" is not important, because the sweeps, like molecules of the same compound, are indistinguishable in their behavior and interchangeable between themselves. On this exercise you get an "F".
Material factors are not the only ones.
As for the "destoys democracy" and the rest, the same things are said by Leftists here in America about Bush.
And they are said by the Putin-controlled media in Russia as well.
The fact of the matter is there is no difficulty finding anti-Putin viewpoints in the Russian media.
Obviously the evidence is against you on that point.
Their mainstream television media is biased, then again so is ours.
In exactly the same way?. Not quite. Theirs is biased for their government and against the West. Anti-Democracy , anti-liberty....and anti-U.S. So is our MSM. Which also opposes our Western governments and liberty and efforts to defend it. So there is no reciprocal similar circumstance... And as Reed Irvine reported in his book decades ago, the Spike, a lot of that "Western" MSM bias is a direct product of Communist and fellow-traveller infiltration up the editorial food chain and subversions. To my knowledge, we never did do anything to expunge the MSM of its moles even though we won the Cold War. And they stubbornly cling to their positions of power just like ancient Liberal Supreme Court Justices refusing to retire. Dan Rather is only now, belatedly, being fired. Brokaw, at least, retired on his own, and Jennings died.
Yet just like here you have numerous cable channels to chose from in cities as well as thousands of non-establishment newspapers and periodicals.
As for the "thousands" of periodicals and the internet, apparently China is showing Russia the way to police that.
So you say, but guess what, it looks like the Gulag is being resurrected under your very nose...who is to say when or if political opposition is again "criminalized" .
Friday, August 26, 2005
Russia: Rights Group Compares Current State Of Country's Prisons To Gulags
By Bruce Pannier
Prague, 26 August 2005 (RFE/RL) -- For Human Rights says its report is based on the monitoring of prisons in some 40 out of Russia's 89 regions.
In an interview with RFE/RL, the group's executive director, Lev Ponomaryov, compares the situation in the country's jails to the Soviet-era gulag system and draws a parallel to one of the most infamous prisoner abuse cases in recent history.
Everything that happened at Abu Ghurayb [in Iraq] is widespread in Russian prisons, and therefore one could say that a gulag system has been created in Russia where people torture, beat, and murder [inmates], Ponomaryov said.
Ponomaryov alleges that the policy at Russia's prisons is increasingly to make the punishments more severe to morally and physically crush each convict. He charges that inmates are regularly humiliated and subjected to cruel treatment for no reason.
Now the prison officials as a rule refuse to allow civil rights workers to visit with prisoners, particularly when there has been a crisis.
Ponomaryov says the mistreatment of prisoners become worse after new heads of prisons were appointed and given revised orders on how to deal with inmates.
The main problem is that in the last few years there has been a change of the heads of prison colonies and detention facilities. More than 50 [new] people throughout Russia's regions took up responsibilities [for prison administration] and received, according to our information, strict instructions for keeping order using all available means. They were given carte blanche, Ponomaryov says.
During the years of Boris Yeltsin's presidency, Ponomaryov says there were more prisoners -- some 1.3 million -- but that most prisons were open to rights groups who wanted to check on conditions.
After Vladimir Putin came to power, Ponomaryov says many prisoners who were serving sentences for minor crimes were freed, lowering the prison population to between 700,000 and 800,000. But he says cooperation between rights groups and prison officials worsened.
On Putin's coming to power, the situation changed drastically, and the prison system was closed off to civilian observers, Ponomaryov says.
Ponomaryov blames Russia's top prison official, Yuri Kalinin, for the worsening conditions. Under Kalinin, he says, prison officials routinely deny rights groups access to jails, particularly when there have been reports of unrest.
Now the prison officials as a rule refuse to allow civil rights workers to visit with prisoners, particularly when there has been a crisis, Ponomaryov says.
Ponomaryov points to one recent protest in particular -- at a prison in the western city of Lgov, where hundreds of inmates cut themselves to protest brutal conditions and the beatings of several other inmates by jail officials. One of the inmates who was allegedly beaten has filed an appeal with the European Court of Human Rights, claiming he was tortured.
Two jail officials have reportedly been charged in connection with the Lgov case.
The jailing of Russian oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovskii has also put a new spotlight on Russia's prison system. Khodorkovskii announced a hunger strike on 19 August after the co-defendant in his tax evasion trial, Platon Lebedev, was transferred to an isolation cell.
Lebedev was reportedly moved back to a regular cell on Thursday after almost a week in solitary confinement.
There has been no comment from the Russian government so far to the new report.
(RFE/EL's Claire Bigg contributed to this report from Moscow.)
But, I am sweet on a particular woman from Russia...(besides Anna).
According to the Communists.
Typical that you should bring this up. You are devoid of all fact or a reasonable perspective.
Communist troll. You guys kill 200 million plus, but don't even get prosecuted. And you are pretty quick to condemn legality, when you are not conversant with real law at all.
Meanwhile, A bunch of jihadist agents dedicated to doing all they can to undermine America...and the West, lie about their Korans being flushed down toilets by US soldiers...and you want to hold war crimes tribunals. Get real.
What daydream are you living in? The White House has been cutting you guys a completely ridiculous amount of slack because he thought you were a real democracy. We could have busted you innumerable times over repetitive arms proliferation charges, and your insidious back-stabbing enmity, brazenly in our face over many vital issues: Iraq, defending your corrupt business in the UN Oil For Food Fraud, selling munitions and technical guidance, your aiding Saddam hide his WMDs in Syria, and your trying to relay intel to him in real time during the war, and now you are trying to do the same for Iran, and North Korea, and are shipping SA-300s to Iran via Belarus.
Idiots. Who do you think you are fooling?
But, I do give you credit here, you more or less own up to being something other than a believer in democratic self-rule now, don't you? You call it a ploy or a manipulation of the U.S.
Rooooight. [Which for a non-native English-speaker such as yourself...it means you are out to lunch. Way out.]
Powerful country as US cant manage situation in Iraq and I would say doesn't have any control under situation.
Because we aren't seeking to impose control, Soviet-style? We are trying to encourage peaceful self-rule. We could have leveled the place and had absolute control. We didn't. Guess democracy and self-rule is just too messy for you...and we know what to expect from you in your country.
The "peace of the grave" you mean:
Their people have never heard about West Democracy.
They are learning.
So What did you get over there? USA rating goes down around the world (in Mexico too).
We got Saddam, who clearly had his hand in with Osama on a number of plots. And we're draining the swamp, slowly but surely. Arranging meetings between the jihadists and Allah. And this is not about popularity contests.
It's about doing the right thing. If you guys had any conscience at all, you would be ashamed of the evil that you aided and abetted. Your country's role around the world is one of shameful communist skullduggery and communist abominations that dwarf all but China's.
As for Mexico...note which direction their people flee to when they look to better their lives.
Russia has more democracy than the USA.
News to a lot of the Russians here.
And btw, we aren't storming into and taking over television studios, and planting government stooges in front of the cameras.