Putin Slams West for Wikileaks' Assange Arrest
Putin Suggests U.S. Criticism Is the Pot Calling the Kettle Black
The arrest of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange for sexual misconduct illustrates the hypocrisy of the West about democracy, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin says.
In the strongest comments to come out of Russia in the latest WikiLeaks saga, Putin also took aim at the U.S. for the cables, some of which had derided Russia a "mafia state."
Assange's arrest in London earlier this week indicated that the West isn't as democratic as it thinks it is, Putin suggested.
"If there is democracy, it must be a full one. Why did they jail Mr. Assange? Is that democracy?" Putin said at a news conference Thursday. "You know what our villagers say: while someone's cow is mooing, yours better be silent." The Russian expression is loosely equivalent to the pot calling the kettle black.
"So I would like to shoot the puck back at our American colleagues," said Putin.