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EU concerned over scale of opposition protests in Russia – Ashton

June 13, 2012, 0:13 UTC+3
Ashton urged the Russian government to hold a constructive dialog with the civil society and to promote democratic standards
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BRUSSELS, June 13 (Itar-Tass) —— The European Union is concerned over the scale of opposition protests in Russia, says a communique of EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton received by Itar-Tass on Tuesday.

She said the Russian government must respect the freedom of assembly and the laws regulating public actions must guarantee that freedom in the first turn.

Ashton expressed discontent with the attempts of Russian authorities to intimidate opposition leaders in order to prevent their participation in the rally. The right to peaceful assemblies is fundamental, she underlined.

Ashton urged the Russian government to hold a constructive dialog with the civil society and to promote democratic standards.

The March of Millions opposition action took place in Moscow on Tuesday. No incidents happened. There have been different estimates of the number of action participants. The opposition claimed no less than 100,000 people took part in the rally and march, and Russian Human Rights Ombudsman Vladimir Lukin cited the same number. Meanwhile, the police said about 20,000 people took part in the march but many of them did not attend the rally.

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