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Kremlin: Post-Soviet integration 'natural'

Published By United Press International
MOSCOW, Dec. 19 (UPI) -- There's a sense of integration emerging among members of the former Soviet Union that the United States doesn't understand, a Kremlin spokesman said.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was criticized by Moscow this month when she told human rights leaders in Ireland that Russian efforts to create a Eurasian trade block were tantamount to a move to "re-Sovietize" Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

Alexander Grushko, Russia's envoy to NATO, said Clinton's of words were "absolutely incongruous."

Dmitry Peskov, a spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin said the U.S. State Department didn't understand what he said were "natural processes" developing in former Soviet republics.

"In the world today, given the frequency of global economic upheavals, the unpredictability in the world economy, the impossibility of making even mid-term forecasts, in a world where the smell of crisis is everywhere, the only viable tendency is the tendency to integration, the integration processes," he was quoted by Russian independent news agency RT as saying.

His comments follow concerns expressed by Russian officials over so-called "color revolutions" in former Soviet republics like Georgia and Ukraine.

Sergei Udaltsov, leader of the opposition Left Front movement, is accused by Russian authorities of plotting against Putin's administration with the help of Georgia leader Givi Targamadze, one of the leaders of the Rose Revolution in 2003.
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Tour de France concludes in Paris
Race winner Bradley Wiggins of Great Britain (C) stands between second place finisher Christopher Froome of Great Britain (L) and third place finisher Vincenzo Nibali of Italy on the presentation podium following the final stage of the Tour de France in Paris on July 22, 2012. Wiggins of Great Britain became that country's first ever overall winner of the Tour de France. UPI/David Silpa