Even as Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who was poisoned (most likely) by President Vladimir Putin’s henchmen, has been arrested upon returning home from a German hospital and now faces years of hard labor, Vyacheslav Volodin, Speaker of the Russian State Duma and a former Putin aide, found time to warn incoming President Joe Biden about “political prisoners.”
“Those who participated in unauthorized political actions everywhere were anointed by Washington as fighters for freedom and democracy,” Navalny said last Tuesday, at the opening of the spring session of the State Duma, but “when the same thing happened in the United States itself, they labeled these people as domestic terrorists who face 15-20 years in prison. These will be real political prisoners. Let’s call a spade a spade.”
Beware the American Gulag…
“Washington will have to admit that either this is a policy of double standards or they have people who have suffered for their political views,” the speaker said, suggesting it has become obvious to everyone that the US, “which lectures the whole world about the standards of democracy,” has nullified its own democratic ideology.
And so the Russian propaganda campaign aimed at equating Western democracies with eastern dictatorships continues, regardless of who resides in the White House.
Meanwhile, Russian Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov told the Rossiya-24 television channel on Thursday: “I just returned from the inauguration, listened attentively to Biden’s speech, naturally looked for something in relation to foreign policy, primarily Russia. I would like to believe that a new chapter in the development of the United States of America begins today and, of course, that a new chapter in the development of Russian-American relations begins as well. At least, we have repeatedly spoken about this.”
So, some hate, some love, keeping it balanced.
Antonov believes that in addition to extending the Treaty on Measures to Further Reduce and Limit Strategic Offensive Arms (START) to dismantle nuclear arms, Moscow and Washington have many other issues to pursue together, such as the coronavirus pandemic, development of the Arctic regions, space exploration, the fight against terrorism, and cooperation on climate.
But do the nuclear arms thing first, we say.