Reuters reports tonight that U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell has expressed concern about the sweeping political changes introduced by Vladimir Putin:
"In effect this is pulling back (on) some of the democratic reforms, as seen by the international community, that have occurred in the past," Powell told Reuters in an interview.
The report quotes Powell as saying:
"We understand the need to fight against terrorism ... but in an attempt to go after terrorists I think one has to strike a proper balance to make sure that you don't move in a direction that takes you away from the democratic reforms or the democratic process"
and adding that
Washington would raise the issue with Moscow "in the days ahead."