Garry Kasparov Interview
By Peter Fedynsky
07 July 2009

President Barack Obama met at the conclusion of his two-day visit to Moscow with Kremlin critics and members of the Russian opposition. Among those in attendance was former world chess champion and leading opposition member Garry Kasparov, who relayed his impressions of the meeting in an exclusive interview with VOA Moscow Correspondent Peter Fedynsky.

Garry Kasparov says his meeting in Moscow with U.S. President Barack Obama was less than what he wanted, but more than what he expected.

Kasparov told VOA correspondent Peter Fedynsky that he wanted to hear Mr. Obama address specific opposition concerns, including the case of jailed former Yukos oil chief Mikhail Khodorkovsky.

But Kasparov said he got the impression that Mr. Obama came to Moscow to show that he wants a relationship with all the Russian people and not just the Kremlin

Kasparov said he believes Russian leaders did not expect Mr. Obama’s willingness to deal openly with the opposition.

He said Mr. Obama called his trip to Russia the start of a long-term relationship with the Russian opposition.

Kasparov is a former world chess champion who left the chess world to turn his attention to politics.

He briefly stood as an opposition presidential candidate in 2008.


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