IF THIS IS TRUE, it's utterly shameful:
The US secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, is due to hold talks with the Russian president, Dmitry Medvedev, in Moscow today amid claims that Washington has agreed to stop criticising Russia's human rights record in return for improved relations.
According to today's Kommersant newspaper, the White House will no longer issue public criticisms of Russia's democratic failings. Clinton will propose that the US and Russia co-operate on a missile defence shield against a possible Iranian attack, the paper said.
The reported plan is likely to dismay both international rights groups and Russia's opposition. Barack Obama's predecessors, Bill Clinton and George Bush, regularly criticised the Kremlin over its war in Chechnya and the rollback of democracy under the former president Vladimir Putin.