Vlad Putin had his own year-end press conference today.
During the three-hour news conference that touched on a wide range of issues, Putin voiced continued support for the war on terror, but sniped at Washington over Iraq where he opposed the U.S.-led military invasion.
He said Moscow welcomed the aspiration of all those who wanted to see the situation normalise but he added: “I have grave doubts as to whether democratic elections can be guaranteed in conditions of full occupation.”
Putin carped at U.S. criticism of Russia’s elections and internal changes, including new laws to scrap gubernatorial elections, toughen rules for creating parties and close parliamentary doors to independent deputies.
Referring to past criticism of the internal changes in Russia, he said brusquely: “I have to say I am not ecstatic about everything that happens in the United States either.”
“Do you think that the electoral system in the United States is entirely flawless? Do I have to recall the last (presidential) elections in the United States or the one before?” he said.
“There was even intimidation of voters,” he said.