[JURIST] Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice [official profile] said Wednesday that Russian needs to increase its democratic development in order for the US-Russia relationship to deepen. In an interview [transcript, in Russian] with Russian radio station Ekho Moskvy, Rice said that there needs to be an independent media and that President Vladimir Putin should not have so much personal power. Rice also said that the US is following the fraud trial of Mikhail Khodorkovksy [trial website; JURIST news archive] to see what the outcome says about the rule of law in Russia. At a press briefing [transcript] Tuesday, Rice said that her agenda while in Russia included talking about "domestic developments in Russia and about continuing concerns about the course of both democratization in Russia and issues concerning the rule of law." Reuters has more. MosNews has local coverage.