President Dimitry Medvedev was blasted by Western leaders for his apparent double cross of his supposed agreement to support condemnation of the brutal regime of Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe. In an editorial in the Moscow Times, the editor expressed the view Russia’s action had less o dow with Zimbabwe and more to do with the Russian government. “Indeed, Medvedev could not have possible supported the idea of the UN Security Council imposing sanctions over elections in Zimbabwe or any other country. Declaring UN sanctions over elections would set a precedent that Moscow has no desire to see established given its own record in conducting elections, not to mention, the record of its allies.”
The Russian government has extensive business interests in nations like Turkmenistan and Uzbekstan, two nations ruled by despotic strong men, and to establish the idea the Untied Nations should impose itself in freedom of voting issues raises the possibility some day opponents of the current Medvedev regime would one day raise it against him. Until the day Russia has accepted the concept of free elections and the right of opposition parties to have equal opportunity to win, there will be no support for free elections in the world.