Friday, 18 May 2007

Kasparov on Lateline

Former World Champion Gary Kasparov appeared on the ABC current affairs program Lateline last night (17th May 2007). He was interviewed by the program host Tony Jones about the political scene in Russia.
I only caught the end of the interview (as I was watching Family Guy on another station!), but i found the following comment interesting.

TONY JONES: You've often said that one of the greatest assets of a chess player is the ability to see the whole board. And you've made the point that the United States at the present moment is so fixated on the disaster that its created in Iraq that it is not seeing the whole board. It's ignoring what's happening in Russia. Is that generally the case throughout the world?

GARRY KASPAROV: It's even worse. Just recently Condoleezza Rice was here a couple of days ago in Moscow and there are statements after seeing Putin and other top officials was quite simple, that United States, she said, would ignore Russian opinion on missiles in Europe, missile defence system and on Kosovo, while the United States would not interfere in Russian domestic affairs at the time of the election. Basically she said the way Russians select their government is their own business.

So that's a trade, that's a deal. That's what Putin wanted. He creates an illusion of the Cold War. He puts pressure on America and on Europe and he expects them to give him concessions on domestic politics. And at the time when Europe is raising its voice, Angela Merkel, is making very strong statements trying to corner Putin with his oppressive domestic politics. The United States walks away, which it's probably the worst thing, because the double standards that's the worst promotion of democracy. If America is saying about its attempts to build up democracy in Iraq, how can they sacrifice the concept of democracy in Russia?

The full transcript of the interview is available here.

No comments: