MOSCOW (AP) -- President Vladimir Putin took a swipe at the United States in his state of the nation address Wednesday, bristling at being lectured by Vice President Dick Cheney and comparing



MOSCOW (AP) -- President Vladimir Putin took a swipe at the United States in his state of the nation address Wednesday, bristling at being lectured by Vice President Dick Cheney and comparing Washington to a wolf who "eats without listening."
During an emotional moment in the nationally televised speech, Putin used the fairy-tale motif on the need to build a fortresslike house and to illustrate Russia's need to bolster its defenses. He also suggested that Washington puts its political interests above the democratic ideals it claims to cherish.
"Where is all this pathos about protecting human rights and democracy when it comes to the need to pursue their own interests? Here, it seems, everything is allowed, there are no restrictions whatsoever," Putin said, smiling sarcastically in the address to both houses of parliament.
"We are aware what is going on in the world," he said. "Comrade wolf knows whom to eat; he eats without listening, and he's clearly not going to listen to anyone."
Political analyst Alexei Makarkin told Ekho Moskvy radio the "wolf" reference was a response to the "United States, its actions in Iraq and plans toward Iran, its games on the territory of the CIS (former Soviet territory) and its criticism of Russia."
Putin's speech came nearly a week after Cheney on May 4 took a verbal slap at the Russian leader, saying the government sought "to reverse the gains of the last decade." In another apparent barb aimed at the United States, Putin said countries should not use Russia's World Trade Organization membership negotiations to make unrelated demands.
Copyright 2006 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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