AP: U.S. Warns of Trouble for Russia After Putin’s Latest Move

The United States government is criticizing the Putin regime in a reasonably strong statement (by diplomatic standards) today, says the Associated Press.

The AP reports the arrest of the head of Russia’s largest oil company, Yukos, in what are widely believed to be trumped-up political charges (the company contributes to two Russian political parties unaffiliated with Putin) will have significant negative ramifications for Russia’s economy.

U.S. Ambassador to Russia Alexander Vershbow was quoted speculating that Russia law is being used selectively to silence and inimidate critics of Putin. He also implied he was speaking for higher authorities in the U.S. government, saying Sunday that Washington “was disturbed by the escalation of tensions around Yukos” and concerned that “after these occurrences new doubts will arise among foreign companies that work in the Russian market and also among potential investors.”

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