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Presidency press statement on EU/Russian Federation human rights consultations

The European Union and the Russian federation today held the seventh round of human rights consultations. The human rights consultations between the EU and the Russian Federation took place for the first time in March 2005.

Today’s meeting was conducted in a frank manner with constructive engagement in the area of childrens’ rights.

At the consultations the EU raised a number of concerns related to specific human rights and fundamental freedoms in the Russian Federation. Issues covered freedom of media, expression and assembly, especially in the light of the recent parliamentary and presidential elections, functioning of the civil society, the rights of persons belonging to minorities and combating racism and xenophobia and the rights of children. Both sides also discussed human rights in the Northern Caucasus.

The EU also provided answers on Russia’s concerns about certain human rights issues in the EU.

During the working lunch both sides discussed cooperation concerning human rights within different international organizations, including United Nations human rights fora. Considering the co-operation within the Council of Europe, the discussions dealt with the implementations of the judgments of the European Court of Human Rights, particularly on the North Caucasus. The co-operation within the OSCE was also discussed.

The EU deems it important to include the civil society in its meetings on human rights with third countries. The EU meets representatives of civil society at the margins of every round of consultations. This time the EU met civil society the day before the consultations.

The next regular human rights consultations are planned to take place under the French EU Presidency.


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Date: 17.04.2008