Thursday, December 23

Putin's Belligerence Continues

This is the kind of thing that happens when a politician starts to feel untouchable.
Responding to a reporter's request for his reaction to a statement allegedly made by Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski (search) to the effect that "Russia without Ukraine is better than Russia with Ukraine," Putin said angrily that the Polish leader sounded "like someone trying to find a new job" when his term runs out.
Well, it's that an ominous statement. Putin seems to think he can pick the leaders of foreign countries like the USSR used to. You'd think after Georgia and Ukraine he'd get the message that the Russian Federation isn't even close to as powerful as the USSR was, but Putin has the blind ambition typical of many fascist dictators. Hopefully, he's stopped before he can make the inevitable bloody miscalculation like invading one of Russia's neighbors.
"I don't think that is the goal of U.S. policy," he said, adding however that he would pose the question to U.S. President George W. Bush when they meet in Slovakia in February.

"If it's indeed so, then the position on Chechnya is becoming more understandable. That means that there, as well, a policy aimed at creating elements that would destabilize the Russian Federation is being conducted," Putin said.
The position he's talking about is the belief that genocide is wrong, and therefore, Russia should not be slaughtering innocent people in Chechnya.

Update
Another Gem:

"Some market participants got multibillion state assets using different tricks, including some violations of then-existing legislation," Putin said.

By contrast, he said, the 100-percent state-owned Rosneft's purchase of the Yukos stake "was done in absolute conformity with market means."
Like jailing it's CEO for example.