Accessibility links

Putin Accuses West of Having 'Double Standards'

Russian President Vladimir Putin says his country and the United States remain partners, but he criticized Western nations on a range of issues, including Iraq.

At a Kremlin news conference Thursday, Mr. Putin said he has serious doubts about whether democratic elections can be held in Iraq while the country is being occupied.

Mr. Putin said he thinks the West has "double standards" on elections and human rights.

The Russian president bristled at U.S. criticism of his political reforms, including ending the popular election of governors. Mr. Putin said he is not "ecstatic about what's going in the United States," but he said he considers President Bush "a very decent person."

Mr. Putin repeated again that he will not run for a third term as president.

Some information for this report provided by AP and Reuters.