News / Europe

Putin Defends Russia Against WikiLeaks Corruption Allegations

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin (file)
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin (file)
Diaa Bekheet

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has spoken out against US criticisms of Russian democracy, which were made public by the website WikiLeaks. In a leaked cable, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Russian democracy has "disappeared".

Putin was speaking on U.S. television network CNN. He said U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates was "profoundly wrong" when he said that Russia is run by its security services.

Gates' comment was found in a February cable, one of over 200,000 that have been passed onto WikiLeaks.

Dan Plesch is at the Center for International Studies and Diplomacy in London.  He says the U.S. opinions on Russian corruption are in-line with the generally held view.

"I think the idea of there being a high level of criminal operation within high levels of Russian society is one that people generally discuss pretty openly," Plesch said. "But you have got to also understand that from an international perspective, many people view the United States particularly, with its financially driven electoral system, as a deeply corrupt society."

Other cables that were leaked describe Russia as a "virtual mafia state" and depict Russia's President Dmitry Medvedev as the fictional character 'Robin' to Putin's 'Batman'.

Putin described the comments as impudent and aggressive.

But this debacle, says Plesch, shouldn't alter the overall arch of current U.S. / Russian relations, which he says is on a positive trajectory.  

"The Obama administration has worked hard on START, they have worked hard on collaboration on missile defense and worked hard with Russia on Iran. And I also think that the Soviet Union with Medvedev has made very substantial steps," Plesch said. "So I think there is a good room for optimism and that's what we should be looking to build upon."

The relationship between Putin and Italian leader Silvio Berlusconi has also come under the spotlight.

The cables contain allegations that Berlusconi may have profited from energy deals with Russia.

In London, WikiLeaks spokesperson Kristinn Hrafnsson defended the leaks.

"If the global stability is based on deception and lies, maybe it needs a bit of shaking up," Hrafnsson said. "These revelations that are already being published out of these cables are showing that government leaders are saying one thing publicly and another privately."

Russia's Foreign Ministry spokesperson Alexei Sazonov said Thursday that there is nothing new or unexpected for Russia in the cables. He said Russia is committed to its relationship with the U.S.

You May Like

Video China Investigates Powerful Former Security Chief

Analysts say move by President Xi is an effort to win more party support, take step toward economic reforms, removing those who would stand in way of change More

South Africa Land Reforms Still Contentious 20 Years Later

Activists argue that the pace of land reform is slow and biased; legal experts question how some proposed reforms would be implemented More

In Vietnam, Religious Freedoms Violated, UN Finds

Beliefs reportedly prompt heavy surveillance, intimidation and travel restrictions More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelteri
X
Scott Bobb
July 30, 2014 8:16 PM
Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video A Summer Camp for All the World

VIDEO: During workshops and social gatherings, the Global Youth Village summer camp encourages young people to cooperate and embrace their differences, while learning to communicate with people from other countries. VOA's Deborah Block has more.
Video

Video From Cantankerous Warlock to Incorruptible Priest, 'Harry Potter' Actor Embraces Diverse Roles

He’s perhaps best known as Mad Eye Moody, the whimsical wizard in the Harry Potter franchise. But character actor Brendan Gleeson's resume includes dozens of films, and he embraces all the characters he inhabits with equal passion. In an interview with VOA’s Penelope Poulou, Gleeson discussed his new drama "Calvary" and his secret to success.

AppleAndroid