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Russia emphasizes non-citizenship issue in human rights talks with EU

November 29, 2013, 16:14 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Russian diplomats have drawn their EU partners’ attention to the persistent problem of wide-scale non-citizenship in Latvia and Estonia

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© AP/Keystone, Salvatore Di Nolfi

MOSCOW, November 29, 15:30 /ITAR-TASS/. Russian diplomats have drawn their EU partners’ attention to the persistent problem of wide-scale non-citizenship in Latvia and Estonia, which breeds massive violations of human rights, the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Friday following another round of Russian-EU expert consultations on human rights in Brussels.

“The meeting thoroughly discussed in detail the prospects of cooperation in multilateral formats - the Third Committee of the UN General Assembly, the UN Human Rights Council (HRC), the Council of Europe and the OECD,” the Foreign Ministry. Both sides stressed the high level and effectiveness of Russian-EU interaction despite disagreements over certain issues, the ministry said.

The Russian side pointed to the increasing politicization of the UNHRC and announced the intention to maximize its efforts as a re-elected member to steer the Council out of the dead end of confrontation, root out double standards and strengthen the principles of cooperation and dialogue. Russian experts urged their partners to avoid using human rights rhetoric and international formats in attempts to resolve political problems and to be pro-actively involved in the dialogue on all issues, even the most controversial ones.

While discussing the human rights situation in the EU member states and Russia, the Russian delegation gave a detailed explanation on issues stemming from the misunderstanding of Russian legislation controlling the activity of non-commercial organizations and preventing the propaganda of homosexuality among minors. The Russian side also voiced concerns about increasing violations of ethnic and language minorities’ rights, persecution of journalists and human rights activists, increasing neo-Nazi sentiment, racial discrimination, intolerance and xenophobia in the EU, the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

The Russian delegation put a special emphasis on the problem of non-citizenship in Latvia and Estonia, which, it said, generates massive violations of human rights. Other issues on the agenda were the supremacy of law, including counter-corruption measures, promotion of civil society, the judicial system, protection from torture and cruel treatment, and the right to privacy.

The next round of consultations is due in Brussels next year.

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