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23:08 GMT +3 hours20 December 2014
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SERGEI LABROV: RUSSIA IS WAITING FOR ESTONIA'S RESPONSE TO CRITICISM

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KALININGRAD, May 27 (RIA Novosti) - Russia hopes for Estonia's response to criticism concerning the observance of the Russian-speaking population's rights in that country, said Russia's foreign minister Sergei Lavrov.

When journalists in Kaliningrad asked the minister to comment on Estonian parliamentarians' criticism of Russia, Sergei Lavrov said as follows:

"As for criticism, we are open to any criticism, when it is to the point. When we hear some concrete requests addressed to us, we examine them thoroughly if they are based on real facts and, should the need to do so arise, we take measures to rectify the situation.

"As regards the situation around the Russian-speaking population in Estonia, criticism of Estonia's policy is concrete and is voiced not only by Russia, and not so much by Russia, as by the European institutions, i.e., the EU, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), and the Council of Europe.

"We hope that Estonia will give concrete replies to this concrete criticism and to concrete recommendations offered by European structures," Sergei Lavrov stressed.

The Russian minister gave his comments on the document drafted by the Estonian parliament's foreign commission and containing recommendations to the country's government to pursue a tougher policy towards Russia. Yesterday, the Estonian parliamentarians submitted this document to the Cabinet.

The document recommends that the Estonian government should "systematically criticize Russia for human rights violations and also look for like-minded politicians in the EU who are also ready to toughen their policy towards Russia.