Old Saint Basil's Cathedral in MoscowJohnson's Russia List title and scenes of Saint Petersburg
Excerpts from the JRL E-Mail Community :: Founded and Edited by David Johnson

#8 - JRL 9075 - JRL Home

MOSCOW, March 2 (RIA Novosti) - The U.S. State Department human rights report is evidence of the United States' "double standards" in this field, the Russian Foreign Ministry believes.

"The contents of the regular report of the United States foreign policy establishment on human rights provides grounds for saying that the American approach to this important theme practices double standards," reads the commentary of the Press and Information Board of the Russian Foreign Ministry.

"Assessments cited with regard to our country are not in the least objective - they are based mostly on arbitrary interpretation of facts and even rumors," the commentary notes.

"The entire report appears politically biased. Russia is subjected to unfounded criticism. Meanwhile, this voluminous treatise has no place for, say, giving assessment of the policy of the official authorities of Latvia and Estonia discriminating the Russian-speaking population in these countries," the commentary stresses.

Moscow noted that fact that "traditionally off-screen is the ambiguous 'record' of the United States itself." Specifically, the international human rights organizations are seriously concerned over "the inhuman treatment of those arrested and kept in the American prisons in Iraq, collisions at the presidential elections, still-living discrimination of racial and ethnic minorities."

"We are open for discussion and unbiased exchange of opinions on the human rights problems. A case in point of such mutually respectful, without attaching labels discussion is the recently-ended Russian-American summit in Bratislava, at which the presidents of our countries touched upon, among other items on the agenda, the theme of democracy in Russia and the United States," the document reads.

The Russian foreign ministry stressed that the report of the U.S. Department of State, "made up of patterns of the past, is in disagreement with what is really taking place in our two-side dialogue, ignores the objective situation in Russian society, which is misrepresented beyond recognition in the State Department's interpretation."

"Russia's adherence to the universal standards in the field of human rights protection and the democratic road of development, as well as our readiness to develop constructive interaction with the international community in this sphere were clearly confirmed during the February visit to the Russian Federation of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Mrs. Louise Arbour," the Russian Foreign Ministry recalled.