US hopes for further 'democratisation' in Russia
Washington, May 9 (IANS/RIA Novosti) The US has expressed hope that the process of democratisation will continue in Russia and the Russian citizens' rights will be respected following Vladimir Putin's taking over as the president of the country.
Protests against what the demonstrators call "stolen vote in the parliamentary and presidential elections of December and March" resumed Sunday in central Moscow. Over 400 people were arrested and scores injured during this rally.
In an interview with CNN, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said: "Certainly from the TV coverage I have seen the extent of the demonstrations."
"And I think it goes to the hope that all Russians have and that everyone who cares about Russia has that with the new term that President Putin is about to begin, Russia will be able to continue democratising, protecting and respecting the rights of all Russian citizens, ensuring that there is a level playing field for political and economic participation," she added.
"I think that for those of us watching from afar on television who have such great respect for Russia, as I know you do, having lived there and studied and really become quite knowledgeable about Russia, we want Russia to fulfill its own potential. And that, of course, means giving people the chance to express themselves," she said.
State Department Deputy Spokesperson Mark Toner, in his turn, called on protesters and police to avoid violence and said the Russian authorities should respect the citizens' rights for freedom of speech and peaceful assembly.
"We are troubled by reports of violence in Moscow during the protests on May 6th and by the arrests that have been carried out over the last three days. We are disturbed by images of police mistreatment of peaceful protesters both during the protests and after detentions," he said.
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