Putin Warns US Not to Interfere

President Vladimir Putin surprised many today with his announcement that he would not seek a third term as Russian President when his term ends in 2008. Putin would have to change the Soviet Constitution in order to run for a third term.

Putin also warned today that the US needs to not interfere in the former Soviet States:

Foreign pressure for reform in former Soviet Union states risks turning them into chaotic “banana republics,” Russian President Vladimir Putin said in comments published on Tuesday.

He said Western governments may have been mistaken in backing non-governmental organisations pushing for change during last year’s “Orange Revolution” in Ukraine, Reuters reports.

“We are not against any changes in the former Soviet Union,” Putin was quoted as saying by Britain’s Times newspaper at a briefing with Western academics and journalists.

“We are afraid only that those changes will be chaotic. Otherwise there will be banana republics where he who shouts loudest wins.”

President Bush has been trying to encourage former Soviet states to build the institutions of stable democracies without antagonizing Putin.

Andy at the brilliant Siberian Light is off for some well deserved rest or would be commenting on this story. Keep his site in mind for terrific Russian News.

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