Bush chides Russia for 'derailed' reforms

June 5, 2007 17:52

US President George W. Bush risked fueling tensions with Russia on Tuesday, saying Moscow had "derailed" once-promising democratic reforms. In a speech celebrating democracy's progress around the globe - and calling out places where its reach is either incomplete or lacking - Bush said that free societies emerge "at different speeds in different places" and have to reflect local customs. But he said certain values were universal to all democracies, and rapped several countries for not embracing them. "In Russia, reforms that once promised to empower citizens have been derailed, with troubling implications for democratic development," Bush said, speaking at a democracy conference in Prague organized by former dissidents.

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