Russia Has to Change its Barbaric Ways Before Peaceful Relations Can Be Restored with the US

Two hands with fingers interlaced. The words "Russia" and "USA" are painted on the fingers.

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President Trump has made it abundantly clear that he intends to restore peaceful relations with Russia. And while I generally agree that maintaining peaceful relations with other countries is a good idea, I worry that if the US were to become allies with Russia, we would be taking a backseat to all the atrocities that Russia has committed.

Which specific atrocities am I referring to? Let’s start with the ban on “gay propaganda.” Back in 2013, Russian parliament passed a federal mandate that prohibits the spreading any material that promotes homosexual relationships. Those who violate the law are subject to a fine and could even face time in jail.

But it gets worse—much worse—because shortly after passing that law, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed yet another law that bans gay couples from adopting children. And if that’s not extreme enough, he also banned people who reside in countries where marriage equality exists from adopting Russian-born children.

But wait…there’s more. Russia is also trying to take over other countries. Their continued presence in Ukraine finally gave way in 2014 when Putin officially took control of Crimea. The man is a dictator.

And if that’s not bad enough, add this to the list: Putin has been known to jail journalists, activists, and anyone who opposes his regime. It happened to Vladimir Gusinsky, a once well-respected media tycoon who found himself behind bars after criticizing the Putin administration.

It also happened to Mikhail Khodorkovsky, who used to be the richest man in Russia. Khodorkovsky was detained in 2003 and sentenced to eight years in prison for tax evasion, fraud, and embezzlement. He just so happened to be an outspoken opponent of the Putin administration.

As you can see, this is not the American way. America represents justice, equality, and opportunity. We believe in freedom of speech. We don’t imprison people just because they disagree with us. That’s why we cannot cozy up to a country that promotes this type of injustice.

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A NYC-based freelancer, Daniel enjoys diving into articles on healthcare policy, politics, finance, and foreign policy.

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