Kremlin Calls Cheney’s Remarks Completely Incomprehensible

MOSCOW, Russia -- Russian officials and diplomats reacted angrily Thursday to a summit of former Soviet republics and allies where U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney criticized Moscow for rolling back the democratic “gains of the past decade’’and blackmailing its neighbors.

Dick Cheney

Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin voiced concern that Russia hadn’t been invited to the conference of Baltic and Black Sea ex-Soviet nations and Moscow’s former Warsaw Pact allies, that took place in Vilnius, Lithuania.

”We would like to see Russia figure at the summit as an important positive factor of global politics, not as an object for scrutiny,“ Karasin told Associated press reporters.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, quoted by Reuters, said that Mr. Cheney’s speech was a subjective evaluation of the processes that are going on in Russia. He called Vice president’s remarks completely incomprehensible.

Russian eccentric lawmaker Vladimir Zhirinovsky holds the same opinion, he dismissed Cheney’s comments as ”absolutely false accusations“ and said they reflected the desire of certain persons in U.S. political circles to discredit Russia ahead of the Group of Eight summit in St.Petersburg in July, Interfax reported.

He stressed that Cheney had expressed the opinion ”of only part of the U.S. political elite“, and not that of President Bush.

Cheney, speaking at the conference said that the Russian government had restricted the rights of the people in many areas.

He also warned Moscow against using its energy resources to blackmail its neighbors — obviously referring to the recent conflict between Russia and Ukraine that burst out after Russia raised the price its gas.

Source: MOSNews