American Congressman Thomas Lantos calling to suspend Russia’s membership in G-8, is on visit in Moscow.
In November 2003 he along with Congressman Kris Cox, Senators John McKein and Joe Liberman prepared “Resolution 336” on excluding Russia from G-8. The resolution was passed by the Congress in April 2004, but the Senate and the US administrations demonstrated that they were not going to support the initiative by Lantos-Cox.
The authors of the resolution see many reasons for terminating Russia’s membership in G-8. These reasons have been enumerated in the resolution adopted by the Congress:
”1) the selective prosecution of political opponents and the suppression of free media by the Russian Federation, and the continued commission of widespread atrocities in the conduct of the brutal war in Chechnya, do not reflect the minimum standards of civilized nations that characterize every other member state in the Group of 8 ;
(2) the continued participation of the Russian Federation in the Group of 8 nations, including the Russian Government's opportunity to host the G -8 summit in 2006 as planned, should be conditioned on the Russian Government voluntarily accepting and adhering to the norms and standards of free, democratic societies as generally practiced by every other member nation, including--
(A) the rule of law, including protection from selective prosecution and protection from arbitrary state-directed violence;
(B) a court system free of political influence and manipulation;
(C) a free and independent media;
(D) a political system open to participation by all citizens and which protects freedom of expression and association; and
(E) the protection of universally recognized human rights”.
After this Thomas Lantos became on of the most well-known US Congressmen in Russia. Of course, he is well-known mainly among the small number of politicians and experts, but still… The State Duma deputies are so well aware of Mr. Lantos’ initiative that they refused to meet with the Congressman. Chairman of Duma Committee on International Relations Konstantin Kosachev said that meeting the Congressman will not be of use because “Mr. Lantos seemed to have made all his conclusions on the situation in Russia before his arrival in Moscow”.
Thomas Lantos replied in an “Echo of Moscow” interview that “such childish, capricious conduct when ones don’t accept criticism, is undermining the dignity of the great state which I hope Russia is to become. Russia cannot be above criticism. We criticize our government, our President. Thinking that the US Congress is in the position to criticize the US President, Chancellor Schroeder, President Chirac, but is not authorized to criticize President Putin would be absurd”.
It is up to Thomas Santos what is absurd and what is not. However, his fellow-Americans are not tolerant as well when they face the criticism of the US Policy.
Here are some exerts from the letters of US citizens to PRAVDA.RU:
”I feel sorry for you. Your country is dying of hunger, you have the third world army and your economy even has no its own currency recognized in the world. Not surprisingly, you have your ass stuck to your chair and yell at the USA. This is all you can do”.
March 23, 2003
”You should not be so biased to the country which saved you from Nazi domination in the World War II and which has been constantly providing you with aid.
Communism in Russia died due to the USA, and this cost us much”.
Leader Of XMI
”I have not read Pravda for years. So much hate and misinformation?? Reminds me of Germany 1939 !!”
April 15, 2004
“Satan is for real, but it is not in the USA. We preach peace, but if we are threatened, our leaders will start a war.”
April 6, 2003
Congressman Lantos considers himself the friend of Russia, “I owe Russia because Russian Army liberated Budapest – my native city. I was glad when Russian people obtained the first chance to vote at the free democratic elections. For this very reason my colleague (Kris Cox) and me called to watch the dangerous trends in the contemporary Russia.
The Congressman did not elaborate why his call to watch the “dangerous trends” meant suspending Russia’s membership in the G-8. Mr. Lantos did not mention how he would react if Russian State Duma passed similar resolution. There are “reasons” for Russian Parliament’s adopting this resolution as well…
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