The week before President Bush is to see Russian President Putin in Bratislava, the Foreign Affairs Committee of the US Senate had open hearings on what’s really happening in Russia and the consequences this will have.
Among those called by the Committee was Anders Åslund. He spoke without exaggeration of the changes we have seen as a part of the ongoing de-democratization of Russia. A mild authoritarian regime is now ruling Russia, according to Anders.
This is worrying both for Russia and the rest of Europe. There is no reason why an open and democratic government can work in Russia. And there is no doubt that more liberal and reform oriented economic policies would facilitate a better long-term economic and social development of the country.