News Release

* NATO * Bush with Putin

Bush is currently meeting with heads of NATO countries and will be meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday. The following analysts are available for interviews:

Sen. TINY KOX
Kox is a senator in the Dutch Parliament and a member of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, which met in Brussels shorty before the heads of governments meeting currently underway. He said today: “Bush is pretending that all is well with NATO to keep up appearances, but that’s hardly the case. There is severe disagreement on Iraq, Iran and a host of other issues.”
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BORIS KAGARLITSKY
Director of the Institute for Globalization Studies in Moscow, Kagarlitsky’s books include Restoration in Russia: Why Capitalism Failed and Square Wheels: How Russian Democracy Got Derailed. He was arrested under Brezhnev and under Yeltsin for his political activism. He said today: “The Russian media is obsessed with geopolitical hysteria about the evil West trying to destabilize Putin while, in fact, I think given the circumstance, Putin is the best option for Bush and Bush knows this. Russia should naturally gravitate toward a united Europe, but Putin’s war in the Caucasus keeps him stuck in Bush’s anti-terrorism crusade and makes obsession with terrorism the new national ideology. A new government in Russia would likely end the war and the Bush administration knows that this [would] let Russia off the hook. As long as the war continues, Putin’s repressive measures will also continue. Bush is the big boss showing the little boss his place, but knows that he cannot actually push him on his repressive measures since that is linked to what ties them together.”
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KATRINA VANDEN HEUVEL
The editor of The Nation, vanden Heuvel is a Russia specialist. She recently wrote the articles “Putin’s War” and “Babushkas vs. Putin” in which she noted: “In one of the most significant developments in Russia since 1998, when disgruntled coal miners went on strike and blocked railroad tracks to protest unpaid wages, thousands of pensioners are demonstrating across the country, protesting the abolition of a wide range of social benefits. What makes these protests potentially more powerful than those of 1998 is that so many Russian families have a pensioner — often a beloved babushka caring for the grandchildren. And adding poignancy to these developments, many are World War II veterans, whom Putin had promised less than a month before to honor during this sixtieth anniversary year of the Soviet victory.”
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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167