Garry Kasparov Interviewed by RFE/RL

From a lengthy Garry Kasparov interview on RFE/RL:

On Russia and the G8: “Inviting Putin [to the G8] as one of the equals created a very bad atmosphere for us in Russia because any time we are trying to criticize Putin and to look at his record, sending the message to the Russian people that Putin has destroyed democratic institutions, Kremlin propaganda shows these pictures with Putin and [U.S. President George W.] Bush and [then German Chancellor Gerhard] Schroeder and [then Italian Prime Minister Silvio] Berlusconi and saying, ‘Look, they receive him as an equal, so who are these radicals, marginals, extremists that are criticizing Putin?’ “We believe that the U.S. administration owes us very strong statements about the current situation in Russia. Again, it’s not anti-Putin or it should not be Other Russia, pro-Kasparov. We want them to support democratic institutions in Russia, so that the basic values that made Europe Europe and America America — Putin should get an unequivocal message: ‘You cannot act as Lukashenka and be treated as a democratic leader. So behave yourself or you will not be part of this exclusive club.’ “We can hope that the whole atmosphere will change because Putin used to sit surrounded by his business partners like Schroeder and Berlusconi or by his friends: Schroeder, Berlusconi, [then French President Jacques] Chirac, Bush, [British Prime Minister Tony] Blair. Now it’s a different atmosphere. Now he’s no longer — he might be treated as equal but he understands that the message is that he, Putin, doesn’t belong there. “They could keep this atmosphere, I think that would be a strong message not only to Putin but also to his allies in Russia because they can’t afford to break up relations with the West. They can’t afford a new Iron Curtain, they can’t afford a new Cold War, because this regime carries no ideology. When I hear stories about a new Cold War, I’m laughing because the Cold War was always based on ideas. Putin’s only idea is: ‘Let’s steal together.’