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Russian parliamentarian blasts U.S. national security strategy

"In short, it states: If I want - I pardon, but if I want - I punish," Sergei Mironov said.

MOSCOW, March 22 (RIA Novosti) - The speaker of the upper chamber of the Russian parliament harshly criticized Wednesday the new national security strategy of the United States.

"In short, it states: If I want - I pardon, but if I want - I punish," Sergei Mironov said.

He said the new national security strategy, which was published March 16, raises certain questions. Mironov added that under the strategy "every country is judged from the standpoint of America's view on freedom."

He posed the rhetorical question of where the U.S. would stand in this sense on Iraq and on the camp in Guantanamo Bay, which was set up as part of the "war on terror" to hold suspected terrorists, but has been criticized by human rights organizations for alleged abuses.

The speaker said that little space in the document had been devoted to relations with Russia and that it made only a passing reference to bilateral anti-terrorism cooperation or energy.

Although the strategy itself says that the U.S. will facilitate Russia's bid to join the World Trade Organization and highlights cooperation with NATO, it says the country's "uneven commitment to the basic values of free-market democracy and dubious record in combating the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction remain matters of great concern."

The document also says that the U.S. will "continue to bolster the independence and stability of the states of the former Soviet Union in the belief that a prosperous and stable neighborhood will reinforce Russia's growing commitment to integration into the Euro-Atlantic community."

Many politicians in Russia have accused America of funding opposition movements in neighboring Ukraine and Georgia, which led to pro-Western authorities coming to power.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said Monday that the new U.S. national security strategy might worsen relations between the U.S. and Russia.

The ministry said the document was evidence of the further ideologization of U.S. foreign policy.

"From now on, the main criteria for the development of the United States' relations with foreign countries will be compliance or non-compliance ... with the American understanding of democracy and the necessities of the fight against unwanted [political] regimes as seen from Washington," the statement said.

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