European lawmakers ‘meddling in Russia’s internal affairs’ – Foreign Ministry

AFP Photo/Frederick Florin
Moscow has responded harshly to a European parliament resolution entitled, ‘On Use of Justice for Political Purposes in Russia,’ saying the document is an example of meddling in the country’s affairs.

­The European Parliament's resolution has been derided by the Russian Foreign Ministry as the latest attempt by European lawmakers to make unfair conclusions on the internal situation in the country. 

“We have read through the European Parliament’s latest resolution on Russia and unfortunately we have to say that the MEPs have once again failed to provide a balanced analysis of the situation in our country,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement released Friday. “The resolution seems to be based on unconfirmed and biased reports, which is further compounded by unfair ‘analysis.’” 

The EU resolution mentions several high-profile cases in Russia, including the murders of lawyer Stanislav Markelov and journalist Anastasia Baburova, who were gunned down together in January 2009 in Moscow. Following a thorough investigation, the killer – identified as a Russian nationalist with a grudge against Markelov due to his “anti-fascist work” – was sentenced to life in prison.

The investigation also determined that Baburova had the misfortune of being with Markelov at the time of the attack.

The EU report labels the solved case as slow progress. 

As to the complaints concerning Russia’s legal system, Russia’s envoy to the EU Vladimir Chizhov reminded that every country “has its own laws, and legislation even differs inside of the European Union."

Chizhov questioned why the EU parliament never consulted Russia on the developments of the court cases it mentions in the report.

"I understand that this debate was dominated by a speech delivered by EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton,” the Russian envoy said. "The wording of this resolution is regrettable and gives a biased picture of the events. Some of them raise questions even from a factual point of view." 

If Ashton wanted to get Russia's viewpoint, she could have done so, Chizhov added.

The Foreign Ministry also mentioned human rights violations in the EU itself, including the issue of not providing citizenship to Russians living in Latvia and Estonia.

Earlier, President Putin’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov told reporters the EU document was ‘unacceptable’.