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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Foreign Ministry Rejects Bush's Criticism

The Foreign Ministry on Monday accused the United States of trying to force its vision of democracy on others, angrily rejecting President George W. Bush's criticism of Russian democracy.

"No one has ... a monopoly on interpreting what democracy is," the Foreign Ministry said in a statement in response to Bush's National Security Strategy report, which was released last week.

The report said that recent trends in Russia "regrettably point toward a diminishing commitment" to democratic freedoms and institutions. "We will work to try to persuade the Russian government to move forward, not backward, along freedom's path," Bush said in the document, his first major foreign policy review since 2002.

The Foreign Ministry criticized what it called an "increasing emphasis on ideology" in U.S. security strategy and indicated that Moscow would not accept lectures from Washington. "Every country is walking its own path to democracy, taking into consideration specific historic and political conditions, as the United States itself has been doing," the ministry said.

The ministry statement also criticized the U.S. report for "claiming an active democracy-building role in the countries neighboring Russia."

In a note of rebuke, it said the U.S. document contained "no single word about ... cooperation between our nations, ... mutual respect and consideration of each other's legitimate interests in practical policy, predictability of behavior and transparency of action."