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Moscow accuses European Parliament of interference in Russian internal affairs

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Sept. 14, 2012, 5:47 p.m. | Russia and former Soviet Union — by Interfax-Ukraine

Russian Foreign Ministry "hopes that, in future, the European Parliament members will avoid politically motivated judgments."
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Moscow - The Russian Foreign Ministry has branded a European Parliament resolution "On Political Use of Justice in Russia" as interference in Russian internal affairs.

"We view a number of critical remarks along with groundless political generalizing conclusions made in the resolution as nothing but interference in our internal affairs or an attempt to substitute the Russian justice system, which goes against the principles of a rule-of-law state and separation of powers," the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a commentary published on its official website on Friday.

Moscow regrets that, "in working on the document, the European parliamentarians once again failed to take a balanced approach toward analyzing the situation in our country."

"There is the impression that the resolution was drawn up based on unverified or lopsided information, and the so-called close 'analysis' of facts set out in it does not add impartiality to the final text," the Foreign Ministry said.

The resolution ignores exhaustive explanations that European parliamentarians have received from their Russian counterparts during meetings of the working groups of the Russia-EU Parliamentary Cooperation Committee, it said.

"We hope that, in the future, the European Parliament members will avoid politically motivated judgments and virtually selective highlighting of individual and obviously controversial cases and will finally pay attention to the fact that not everything is right with human rights in the European Union itself, the most glaring example being the status of non-citizens in Latvia and Estonia," the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

It was reported earlier that the European Parliament had passed a resolution criticizing the human rights situation in Russia as having dramatically worsened over the past several months.

The resolution headlined "On Political Use of Justice in Russia" expresses concerns about the adoption of a number of laws in Russia, which, in the European parliamentarians' view, could be used for further restricting the opposition and civil society, freedom of expression and freedom of assembly.

The resolution says that Russia, as a full member of the Council of Europe and the OSCE, has assumed certain obligations, and therefore "meaningful and constructive EU-Russia relations depend on the efforts to strengthen democracy, the rule of law and respect for fundamental rights inside Russia."

The document mentions the most vivid cases that, in the European parliamentarians' view, signal the use of justice for political purposes in Russia. In particular, it addresses the conviction of the Pussy Riot punk band members, the ejection of parliamentarian Gennady Gudkov from the State Duma, the indictment of participants in demonstrations in Moscow, and criminal prosecution of opposition activists.

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