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Cheney raps Russia on democracy, energy policy

Written by: Staff

VILNIUS, May 4 (Reuters) Vice President Dick Cheney, in some of the Bush administration's harshest criticism of Moscow, said opponents of reform were trying to turn the clock back and urged the country to stop using energy supplies for blackmail.

''Russia has a choice to make,'' Cheney said today in remarks prepared for a summit of Baltic and Black Sea leaders in Vilnius. He said rights were being restricted and warned some of Russia's actions could affect relations with other countries. But Cheney, speaking at a time of chilly US-Russia relations, said: ''None of us believes that Russia is fated to become an enemy.'' He said G8 members planned to make clear at a summit in St Petersburg this summer that Russian President Vladimir Putin had ''nothing to fear'' from stable democracies on his country's borders.

Reuters KD GC1252

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