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Putin as guarantor of freedom

FOR MANY Slovaks, Russian President Vladimir Putin is a greater guarantor of freedom in the world than his US counterpart George Bush, according to a survey conducted by polling agency Markant for the daily SME.

Putin was viewed as a guarantor of democracy by 43 percent of respondents while 35.9 percent said Bush was a guarantor.

Commenting on the survey, Alexander Duleba of the Slovak Foreign Policy Association, said it demonstrated that people do not have access to information on issues such as the Yukos case or the situation in Chechenia.

In the light of global anti-American hysteria the results did not surprise sociologist Mário Dobrovodský, of Markant. Another reason for the perception was that Putin is less visible in the Slovak media.

The survey also asked people why they thought Bratislava was chosen for the Bush-Putin summit. About 21 percent of respondents identified a high level of safety as the reason. 24 percent replied that it was Slovak support for American policy in Iraq.

Compiled by Spectator staff from press reports

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