Russia ‘Freer than US’ – Kremlin Official

MOSCOW, December 9 (RIA Novosti) – Political freedoms in Russia are unmatched by any country in the world, Kremlin official Vyacheslav Volodin, in charge of domestic policy, said on Sunday.

“Our democracy was not just maximal – nothing like it was, and still is, to be found in other countries,” Volodin, first deputy chief of the Kremlin administration, said in Moscow.

“Take countries that we see as blueprints for democracy – say, the United States – they don’t have such freedoms. They don’t have direct presidential elections or this multiparty system,” Volodin told a gathering of senior officials and aides to President Vladimir Putin.

The US political system is dominated by two parties, whereas Russia currently has 32, Volodin said. He appeared to be citing obsolete data because the Justice Ministry named 47 registered parties on its website as of Sunday evening.

Russia ranked 117 of 167 countries in the 2011 Democracy Index by the London-based Economist Intelligence Unit, qualifying for an “authoritarian regime.” The United States scored 18th, which allowed it to rank at the bottom of the tier of “full democracies.”

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