Get the latest updates as we post them — right on your browser

. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Putin's Aide Says U.S. is Unfair to Criticize Russia's Democracy

Presidential Press ServicePresident Vladimir Putin sampling some grain as he visits an agriculture exposition near Rostov-on-Don on Saturday with Agriculture Minister Alexei Gordeyev.
Accusations by the United States that Russia is backtracking on democracy are unfair, President Vladimir Putin's top foreign policy aide said Friday.

"We consider unfriendly the recent intensification of criticism of Russia for allegedly retreating from democratic values and norms," said the aide, Sergei Prikhodko. "These assessments are biased and unfair and we are ready to discuss these matters."

Prikhodko accused U.S. politicians and businessmen of having a poor knowledge of Russia, saying they followed "old principles and ideas," but warmly praised U.S. President George W. Bush as a "worthy and responsible partner," Interfax reported.

Authorities have quashed anti-Putin protests this year ahead of parliamentary and presidential elections, drawing criticism from the West and from Bush himself.

Putin has responded by challenging Western leaders to examine their own societies and actions, which he says also have defects.

"Let's look at what happens in North America -- the horror of torture, the homeless, Guantanamo, and keeping people in custody without trial or investigation," Putin said in an interview with Western media on June 4.

Washington's criticism that Moscow is rolling back democratic post-Soviet reforms, and disputes over plans for a U.S. missile shield in Europe and the status of Kosovo have driven relations to a post-Cold War low.