|Clinton speaking in Bonn, Germany.|
Secretary of State Hilary Clinton spoke out against those practices Tuesday while at a conference in Bonn, Germany. She called the elections “dishonest and unfair”, a charge that Putin says incited the protests in Moscow. Well over 300 people have been arrested during the protests, the largest demonstration in well over twelve years, the time that Putin first came to power as prime minister.
Clinton ignored criticism from Putin and continued to speak out against the elections Thursday while attending another conference in Brussels. She said that while she acknowledges the importance of a close relationship with Russia, the United States must balance another agenda :“At the same time, the United States and many others around the world have a strong commitment to democracy and human rights. It’s part of who we are. It’s our values. And we expressed concerns that we thought were well founded about the conduct of the election. We are supportive of the rights and aspirations of the Russian people to make progress and to realize a better future for themselves, and we hope to see that unfold in the years to come.”
Putin has gone as far as to claim Clinton’s comments and other criticisms from around the globe in the wake of elections is a form of meddling in Russian politics that challenges the nation’s sovereignty. He claims that the protesters were “taking orders from foreign states”, and that people can express themselves only to the point where they stay within the bounds of Russian law. Russian NATO representative has also voiced similar sentiments while in Brussels, and encouraged other nations to let Russia deal with its own problems.