Russia has chastised the United States, the United Kingdom, and EU member states for failing to respect democratic rights and freedoms at home and abroad.
This comes as the United States prepares to host a democracy conference on December 9-10, at the initiative of the US government.
It was included in a Russian Foreign Ministry statement on the next US democracy summit and made public.
“In conjunction with the so-called summit for democracy, which will take place on December 9-10 at the initiative of the US administration, we believe it is appropriate to make the following declaration,” the statement added.
“The organizers and supporters of this bizarre gathering claim to be at the forefront of the global fight for democracy and human rights. However, the United States, the United Kingdom, and EU member states’ track records and reputations in terms of upholding democratic rights and freedoms at home and abroad are, to put it mildly, far from ideal.
“The evidence implies that the United States and its allies cannot and should not claim to be a “beacon” of democracy because they have long-standing issues with freedom of speech, election administration, corruption, and human rights.”
“In truth, the partisan and corporate elites dictate the editorial agenda of major Western media institutions. To repress dissent in the media, well-oiled mechanisms for censorship, self-censorship, and the removal of unwelcome accounts and information from digital platforms are used, which “represents a gross breach of the right to free expression espoused by the West,” according to the statement.
“Social media platforms controlled by US businesses are routinely used for disinformation, propaganda, and public opinion manipulation,” it went on to say. In Western countries, mass electronic surveillance by intelligence services and the IT companies that work with them has become a way of life.
“During the election campaign in the United States around a year ago, the globe watched as the country’s outdated electoral system began to unravel. The current vote-counting system has shown to have a number of flaws. Millions of Americans are skeptical about the 2020 presidential election’s fairness and openness. This is understandable, given that the process and outcome included dubious techniques like gerrymandering, multi-week postal voting, and denying observers, particularly international observers, access to polling sites.
“The continued retaliation by US police against demonstrators outside the Capitol on January 6, whom the US administration and affiliated media publicly refer to as “domestic terrorists,” raises serious problems. Hundreds of people who disagreed with the presidential election results have been sentenced to prison terms that are disproportionate to their anti-government activities.
“While posing as the “global democratic leader,” the United States has dominated the world in the number of inmates for many years” (over 2 million people). Many prisons have conditions that are degrading to human dignity. The United States continues to remain mute on the issue of torture at the Guantanamo Bay jail. The US intelligence services were the first to establish secret prisons in ally countries, a tactic that had never been done before in the modern world.
“In the United States, lobbying is essentially legalized corruption. Big industry has de facto control over legislatures. They primarily protect the interests of their sponsors, such as corporate corporations, both domestically and globally, rather than the people, or voters.
Against this backdrop, Washington’s democratizing rhetoric is not only completely out of touch with reality, but also blatantly disingenuous. Before going on the path of “exporting democracy,” we urge our North American friends to address their domestic difficulties first, and to work to bridge the widening societal divides on issues of ethics, values, and historical and future visions. It stated that “humbly conceding that US democracy is not perfect” is “obviously not enough.”
According to Russia, neither the United Kingdom nor the United States can claim to be progressive democracies. With escalating occurrences of racism and discrimination against ethnic and cultural minorities in many aspects of public life, that country is a welcome home for organizations espousing neo-Nazi ideology. There have been reports of British intelligence obtaining personal information about their own residents without their consent, and police violence, particularly against peaceful demonstrations, has grown regular.”
“The situation in the EU is no better,” it said. The legitimate rights and interests of ethnic Russians and Russian-speaking residents in the Baltic states, Ukraine, and Moldova are repeatedly ignored by Brussels. It ignores the mythmaking of new EU member nations in political history, where former Nazi stooges who perpetrated war atrocities are hailed as national heroes. In many EU countries, administrative repression of dissent, aggressive inculcation of ultra-liberal ideals and practices that are eroding the Christian underpinnings of European civilisation have become the norm.”
According to Russia, the United States and a tiny group of its friends, claiming to be on the right side of ideology and morals, have damaged faith in themselves by aggressive activities on the world stage under the banner of “supporting democracy.” Over the last 30 years, there have been more than a dozen military interventions and attempts at “regime change.” Provocative military-political actions frequently violate international law and result in nothing but turmoil and destruction.”
“Recent history demonstrates that military excursions aimed at forcing democratisation have resulted in terrible conflicts and national catastrophes in the nations that have been victims of this policy, like former Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and Syria,” the statement stated. The need to combat terrorism and WMD proliferation, as well as “to protect people,” were all used as pretexts to start conflicts.
“Everyone recalls how, following the military involvement of “the coalition of the willing” in Iraq in 2003, President George W. Bush pronounced the victory of democracy in that country from the deck of the Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier. What transpired after that is well-known. “Today, there are no precise data, but estimations suggest that hundreds of thousands of Iraqis died before their time,” it said.
Despite spending trillions of dollars, Russia said the US mission in Afghanistan was a complete failure, adding that the chaotic withdrawal of Americans and other members of the US-led coalition from Kabul in August was the sad denouement of a more than two-decade-long “war on terror.”
“Libya has yet to recover from NATO’s intervention to “defend people,” it added. Libya was a stable country with acceptable living conditions for its people, notwithstanding the idiosyncrasies of the old Jamahiriya’s socio-political structure. This ill-advised military intervention resulted in the unchecked circulation of weapons and terrorists throughout the Sahara-Sahel region, among other things.”
“We may keep mentioning examples demonstrating the hypocrisy at the heart of this “conference for democracy,” Russia warned. Is it, nevertheless, necessary?”
“Russia, which our Western colleagues have recently accused of practically every fatal vice, is reforming its foreign policy. We don’t force our development model on others. Every nation’s cultural and religious identity, as well as the unique characteristics of its political systems, are respected. We also recognize that each country has the freedom to determine its own growth path. No one will be forced to accept our worldview. The UN Charter #OurRulesUNCharter is the set of norms that we observe in the international arena,” it stated.
“Russia strives to play a balancing, stabilizing role in world politics,” the statement stated. We believe in state sovereignty, non-interference in their internal affairs, the avoidance of the use of force or the threat of force, and the peaceful resolution of disputes. We support international relations based on peaceful coexistence, cooperation, and solidarity, universal security, and equitable distribution of globalization’s benefits.
Russia is a global superpower with Eurasian and European roots. It does not follow trans-Atlantic political, economic, and cultural models exclusively in determining its development path. We oppose the aggressive imposition of so-called “new ethics,” which are eroding moral standards that have been sustained by established religions and recognized by humanity for ages.”
“Through a non-confrontational and well-balanced foreign policy, we seek to offer possibilities for all international players to flourish freely.” We do not follow the Western countries’ lead and do not interfere in their internal affairs: if individuals in these countries, or some of them, support the erosion of traditional moral and spiritual values, we express our regret but do not intervene,” it stated.
“We embrace communication between cultures, religions, and civilisations as an important tool for forging a uniting agenda and fostering trust in state-society relations,” the statement stated.
“To address critical issues, we ask all foreign partners to adhere to international law and enforce the principle of sovereign equality of nations, which is established in the UN Charter, rather than participate in “democracy promotion” or draw new dividing lines.” It represents the framework for a democratic world order, which the United States and its allies reject.
As mankind continues to fight the COVID-19 pandemic and its aftereffects, collaboration among all governments based on the UN Charter’s values is more important than ever.
It went on to say that the “conference for democracy” will be widely watched.