Source Pravda.Ru

Democracy in Russia: Putin and Bush exchange views

&to=http:// english.pravda.ru/main/18/88/350/14913_gorbachev.html' target=_blank>President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday that Russia would pursue democratic change on its own and would not allow the issue to be used by other countries for their foreign policy goals.

"The fundamental principles of &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/politics/2002/12/12/40722.html' target=_blank>democracy and institutions of democracy must be adapted to the realities of Russian life today, to our traditions and our history. And we will do this ourselves," he told Slovak media ahead of summit talks with President Bush in Bratislava Thursday.

"We are against the use of such an issue as an instrument for achieving foreign policy aims," he said according to a transcript of the interview released by the &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/culture/2001/01/16/2016.html' target=_blank>Kremlin. Bush Monday criticized the state of democracy in Russia, saying the government must renew a commitment to democracy and the rule of law -- an apparent reference to Western concerns that Putin has become increasingly authoritarian, informs Reuters.

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