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EU's anti-Russian rhetoric not conductive to dialogue — Moscow

The EU should remember its own problems, including the rise of neo-Nazi sentiments and stateless persons in some of EU member states, the ministry said
Russian Foreign Ministry Roman Kanashchuk/TASS
Russian Foreign Ministry
© Roman Kanashchuk/TASS

MOSCOW, July 24. /TASS/. Anti-Russian human rights rhetoric by EU officials are not conductive to a constructive dialogue between Moscow and Brussels, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.

The ministry mentioned the July 18 speech in the European Parliament by European Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides. The speech, made on behalf of the EU High Commissioner for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, focused on human rights in Russia, including the issue of what was described as Ukrainian "political prisoners."

"We view the opinions that were expressed <...> as biased and intended to play into the hands of political forces within the EU who are interested in further demonization of our country and in preserving the current abnormal state of Russia-EU relations," the ministry said in a statement.

"Lately, we have been receiving signals from our EU colleagues at various levels about their interest in developing a constructive dialogue with Russia on issues of mutual concern. We are ready for that. At the same time, it should be noted that anti-Russian rhetoric of this kind will hardly be conductive to this," it said.

According to the ministry’s statement, the European Union’s exaggerated and "clearly unhealthy interest" in the situation with human rights in Russia "cannot help but raise eyebrows in the context of numerous systemic problems in this sphere observed in the European Union."

"We would like to remind you that with the connivance of national governments of certain member states and with Brussel’s tacit approval, a wave of attempts to rehabilitate the Nazism - which paves the way for the revival of racism, xenophobia and anti-Semitism - keeps gaining momentum in the EU," the statement reads.

Besides, the shameful practice of "stateless persons" endorsed by certain EU member states, as well as the European Union's response to the situation with media freedoms and journalist’ rights in some countries, also remain a source of concern.

As an example of the policy of double standards, practiced by the European Union in the human rights domain, the ministry mentioned the lack of EU reaction to the Kiev government’s policy of "coercive Ukrainization," for example, to the discriminatory laws on education and official language.

According to the ministry, those laws contradict the Ukrainian constitution, the country’s international obligations as well as the spirit and letter of the Minsk agreements on Ukrainian reconciliation.

"For some reason, the EU is also not concerned about the catastrophic situation with media freedoms in Ukraine, including persecution of journalists," the statement reads. "The case of RIA Novosti Ukraine’s head Kirill Vyshinsky, who has been kept in custody since may 2018 on absurd charges of state treason for his professional activities, is a direct evidence of that.".