But President Putin may not be receptive to the criticism. Russian officials have been increasingly unhappy about what they see as unfair international criticism. Putin has been preparing a speech on the state of Russia to deliver next week, said Stephen Sestanovich of the Council on Foreign Relations, who was the senior official for Russia policy during the Clinton administration.
"I would expect Putin to do some talking back next week," he said.
Cheney's remarks cheered advocates of a tougher U.S. line.
"We finally said something pretty straightforward at a pretty high level," said Danielle Pletka, a vice president at the American Enterprise Institute, a think tank with close ties to the administration. "What should surprise you is that we haven't done it long before now."
Mikhail Margelov, head of the Foreign Affairs Committee of Russia's upper house of parliament, told Russia's Interfax news agency that though Cheney had called on Russia to "transcend old grievances," that advice was better directed at the former Soviet states of the Baltics and the Eastern European countries represented at the conference.
Vasily Likhachyov, another member of the upper house, described Cheney's remarks as part of an anti-Russia campaign.
"All this rhetoric is a response by certain circles in the West, particularly in Europe, to Russia's increasing influence in foreign politics and the strengthening of its competitiveness," Likhachyov told Interfax. "Our country is a factor in world energy security, and apparently not everybody likes it."
Former Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev, who played a key role in ending the Cold War, also criticized Cheney's speech.
"I will say just a few words: Cheney's speech looks like a provocation and interference in Russia's internal affairs in terms of its content, form and place," Gorbachev told Interfax.
Richter reported from Washington and Holley from Moscow.