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Kurczab-Redlich, Krystyna

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Rzeczpospolita - Poland | 02/09/2010

West ignores political prisoners in Russia

In an interview with the Russian daily Kommersant Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin harshly criticised the opposition and defended his government. But the Polish conservative daily Rzeczpospolita blames him for the huge democratic deficit in his country and says the West is also partly responsible for this: "All over the world people say that the Russians are not ripe for democracy. And that Russia was going its own way. And that the West shouldn't dare jeopardise the fragile progress. ... The opposition - if there is one at all - is a beaten-down, clumsy, insignificant stain on the increasingly bright image of our great partner in the East. ... If the leaders of other states would stand up for the hundreds of political prisoners in Russia they would be considerably more entitled to call themselves democratic leaders. And there would presumably be fewer prisoners."

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