RUSSIAN premier Vladimir Putin compared the pressure put on the Kremlin over the Chechnya issue to Britain’s role in Northern Ireland on Monday – a handy way to deflect criticism of human rights abuses in the Russian federation, but – given the massive difference in the scale of such abuses – are the situations really comparable?
It was not clear whether Blair had pressed Putin over human rights or brought up the fraud conviction of former oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky, whose trial British officials say has hurt investment in Russia.
But Putin, asked by a reporter, said: “We know about these (human rights) criticisms, especially surrounding the Chechen events, just as criticism about Britain used to be heard in terms of Northern Ireland.”
“We are opposed to the use of these issues for interfering in our internal affairs or as a tool for achieving foreign policy objectives,” Russian President was quoted by Reuters as saying.
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