Monday, December 19, 2005

State Department Offcial Rejects Russian Sovereignty

In a December 14th appearance at the American Enterprise Institute, the assistant secretary, Bureau of European & Eurasian Affairs, U.S. Department of State, appeared to challenge Russia's right to national self-determination (see boldface sentence in transcript below):
QUESTION: Thank you. I'm Vladimir Kara-Murza with RTVI Television, Russia. When you spoke about advancing democracy in the former Soviet region – Belarus, Kyrgyzstan – you didn't mention Russia. How does that – advancing democracy in Russia, is that an issue for the U.S. Administration, especially in terms of its relations with Putin?

And then just quickly, is the U.S. prepared to cooperate with the European Union investigation on the detainee issue?

AMBASSADOR FRIED: Well, we have to find a phrase other than former Soviet space. You know, the United States doesn't usually refer to itself as the former British Colonial space. (Laughter.) It's over, okay? It's over.[Editor's note: What about all the anglosphere stuff?]

Russian democracy – the time is gone when nations could simply wall off the world and say non-interference in internal affairs is an absolute condition of state sovereignty. The United States has every – every country in the world is interested in the internal affairs of the United States. [sic, Fried may have meant to say Russia, a Freudian slip?]
I think Fried may come to regret these remarks...