December 15, 2011
Editor’s Note: I take it that the Obama Administration is taking all this Russian Spring talk seriously. They pumped millions into the Egyptian elections and now they see a weakened Putin caught flat-footed by the large response (most likely hired force) so it is time to take advantage. Most Russians pawned their freedom for scarce security long ago so any anger directed at United Russia is temporary at best.
The U.S. administration is in talks with Congress on the establishment of a new organization supporting NGOs in Russia, Philip Gordon, Assistant Secretary, Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs, said on Wednesday, December 14.
“As part of our democracy strategy, the administration has been consulting with Congress on an initiative to create a new fund to support Russian non-governmental organizations that are committed to a more pluralistic and open society,” Gordon said.
“The fund would not require an additional appropriation, as necessary funding would be drawn from the liquidated proceeds of the U.S.-Russia Investment Fund – an example of successful U.S. foreign assistance to Russia,” he said at a meeting of a subcommittee in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Gordon said the United States provides financial support to Russian civil society.
“Since 2009, the U.S. government has given approximately $160 million in assistance to support programs on human rights, rule of law, anti-corruption, civil society, independent media, good governance, and democratic political processes,” he said.
“Most recently, U.S. funding was used to support independent Russian monitoring of the [State] Duma elections and education for independent media on professional and unbiased reporting, encourage informed citizen participation in elections, and enhance the capacity to conduct public opinion polling,” Gordon said, RIA Novosti reported.
On December 8, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin proposed toughening responsibility for those who interfere in Russian political life on foreign orders.
“When money from abroad is invested in political activities inside another country, this concerns us,” he said, adding that “hundreds of millions of dollars” of foreign money have been spent to influence the election process in Russia.
“We are not against foreign observers monitoring out election process,” Putin said. “But when they begin motivating some organizations inside the country which claim to be domestic but in fact are funded from abroad… this is unacceptable.”
The ruling United Russia party won the Russia’s December 4 parliamentary elections, gaining about 50 percent of the vote. Tens of thousands of people went to the streets to protest the vote results, which they say were rigged.
Putin calls ‘color revolutions’ an instrument of destabilization
December 15, 2011
MOSCOW – ‘Color revolutions’ are a well-tested scheme of destabilizing society, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said.
“As far as ‘color revolutions’ are concerned, I think that everything is clear. It is a well-tested scheme for destabilizing society. I do not think it appeared by itself,” Putin said during his annual Q&A session broadcast live on Thursday.
“We know the events of the Orange Revolution in Ukraine. By the way, some of our opposition members were in Ukraine and officially worked as advisers to its then President [Viktor] Yuschenko. They are now transferring this practice to Russian soil in a natural manner,” he said.
Putin urges Russians not to destabilize country
December 15, 2011
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin Thursday urged Russian citizens not to participate in the ‘destabilization’ of the country, in his first public comments on the mass protests against alleged electoral fraud. Speaking at a televised question-answer session, Putin said that while legal protests and dissent were necessary, it was wrong for people to ‘allow themselves to be sucked into schemes to destablize society’. Russia saw anti-government rallies Dec 10, as thousands of people took to the streets to protest suspected poll violation at the Dec 4 parliamentary elections. Putin hit out at revolutions that swept former Soviet republics in the 2000s. He hinted at foreign involvement in the 2004-05 unrest in Ukraine that led to the toppling of the country’s pro-Russia authorities.