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Snowden’s leaks show infringement of freedom of speech, press in EU

Russian FM: EU human rights diplomacy remains ‘a one-way street’ and is purely outside oriented

MOSCOW, January 15 (Itar-Tass) - Revelations by former CIA contractor Edward Snowden brought to light considerable infringements of the freedom of speech and the press in the EU, says the report on 2013 human rights situation in the EU released on Russian Foreign Ministry’s site Wednesday.

“In the light of the U.S. special services’ online spying on tens of millions of citizens in sovereign states, including the EU political establishment, revealed by the former National Security Agency’s contractor Edward Snowden, the European Union faced the urgent need to react to this flagrant violation of international law regulations, those concerning human rights, primarily, privacy and the protection of private life,” the document goes. However, the report proceeds, the politicians did not go any further than high-flown statements about the need to have a discussion with the U.S., made at the EU summit in October.

Notably, at least one EU member partook in the electronic spying programme along with the U.S., that is Britain, the Foreign Ministry adds. A tough reaction of the British authorities to Snowden’s publication in The Guardian “shed new light on another significant issue, namely considerable infringement of the freedom of speech and the freedom of the press in the EU as well as the persisting vicious practice of double standards in this sphere”.

“The EU human rights diplomacy remains ‘a one-way street’ and is purely outside oriented,” the Russian Foreign Ministry believes. In effect, the statement says, the EU has no proper conditions for “a substantive dialogue of mutual respect” with its partners when the EU special representative for human rights brings up the issue of violations in the humanitarian and human rights spheres in third countries.