|21 April 2005|
|Same day, different message?|
|If you were Mr. Putin, what would you think?|
||VILNIUS, Lithuania (AP) -- Secretary of State
Condoleezza Rice met...
with seven Belarusian dissidents and expressed admiration for their courage as they seek an end to what she has called
"the last dictatorship in the center of Europe."
Following democratic successes in Georgia and Ukraine, Rice said, "it's time for a change in Belarus."
An authoritarian pro-Russian president, Alexander Lukashenko, has led Belarus for 11 years....|
|[Rice] declined to take a stand as to whether mass street protests against the
Belarus regime are a good idea. Those decisions can only be made by the people of the country, she said.
The seven Belarusian dissidents who Rice met with represented independent civil society groups.
Rice told them the United States believes that "while it may be difficult and long and at times even far away,
there will be a road to democracy in Belarus."...
Rice also encouraged the creation of a national movement for change and creation of a credible political alternative to the current regime...
Alexander Dobrovoskiy, deputy chair of the United Civic Party... said....
||During her meeting Wednesday in Moscow with Russian President Vladimir Putin,
Rice offered assurances that the United States is not interested in a power grab in former Soviet republics.
U.S. actions in these states "are not in any way anti-Russian or designed to diminish Russian influence," Rice said she told Putin.
Concerns about American intentions have accelerated in Russia following the establishment of pro-Western governments in
Georgia and Ukraine and the expansion of the U.S. military presence in Central Asia as part of the Bush administration's fight against terrorism.
Rice has designated Belarus as one of six "outposts of tyranny."|
The congressionally funded International Republican Institute, based in Washington, provides specialized training
for democratic youth and women in Belarus. It also provides assistance to reform-oriented parties and literature development and distribution."
|"Calling for 'Change' in Belarus, Rice Meets With Dissidents",
NYT on the Web, 21Apr05, AP, Filed at 10:40 a.m. ET. Both pictures at page top
from NYT on the Web homepage, 21Apr05.|
||In a half-hour interview...
on Ekho Moskvy, an independent radio station that frequently broadcasts criticism of the
government and that says it reaches two million people across Russia...
Alexei Venediktov, editor in chief and the host, asked [Rice] pointedly if the United States was trying
to export democracy the way the Soviet Union sought to export socialist revolution.
"There's an important difference here," she said. "You do not actually have to export democracy."
She said democracy rose from within a state, though the United States had
supported private organizations and institutions in some countries to move the process along
[Ed. note: e.g., #1a, above?].
"We see this as not a zero-sum game but one in which everyone has much to gain," she said.|
|Steven R. Weisman, "Rice Tells Putin U.S. Is No Threat in Region", NYT on the Web,