Russia wants just cooperation with other countries - Putin aide

(RIA Novosti) - Russia is a free nation and wants to cooperate with other countries according to just rules, an influential presidential aide said Wednesday.

President Vladimir Putin and his administration have been accused in the last few months - notably by U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney and other officials in Washington - of backsliding on democracy and reverting to authoritarian tendencies, reports Trend.

But Vladislav Surkov, a deputy head of the Kremlin administration, rebuffed the claims and said Russia had what he termed a sovereign democracy and freedom.

"While building an open society, we do not forget that we are a free nation, and we want to be a free nation among other free nations and cooperate with them according to just rules without being governed from outside," he said.

Surkov said managed democracy, a term which has often been applied to Putin's presidency, was an ineffective pattern imposed by certain "global influence centers." However, he declined to name the countries he thought were managed democracies.

The aide also said Russia's emerging national ideology would not differ much from European traditions.

"As far as the basics of a possible emerging national ideology are concerned, I think they are unlikely to drastically differ from the common European values and models," he said.

Surkov said Russia's version of European culture was no more specific than German, French or British versions, adding that Europeans would have to get used to Russian specifics.

"We see ourselves in the world in this way, and I hope our neighbors and partners will understand us with time," Surkov said.

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