Schwarzenberg: The West is losing to Putin


Czech Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg, in an interview for The Cable – one of US magazine Foreign Policy’s blogs, has said the West has been slow to react to steps taken by Russian President Vladimir Putin, in his view, to re-establish Russia as a regional hegemon. In the interview, Mr Schwarzenberg said that President Putin had installed an aggressive autocracy, one he suggested was close “not to Stalin but to Russian Tsar Nicholas I”; he stressed that the Obama administration’s “reset” policy had not been able to influence the heading of the Russian government.

The Czech foreign minister has consistently voiced concerns over the situation in Russia, including human rights. Most recently, Mr Schwarzenberg condemned, for example, the trial of members of the political punk band Pussy Riot sentenced to three years in prison. Mr Schwarzenberg was in New York for the meeting of the U.N. General Assembly; he met earlier this week with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.