Britain spent 1.25 million pounds (almost $2 million) in 2011 to promote human rights and democracy in Russia, according to the Human Rights and Democracy Report, published on Monday.
“The human rights situation in Russia continued to be of concern in 2011. Although President Medvedev emphasized the importance of the rule of law, the Russian government’s support for human rights often appeared ambivalent,” the report reads.
The document, prepared by the British Foreign Office, states that human rights issues remains a top priority in Russian-U.K. bilateral relations.
“Our work with Russian human rights organizations complemented this bilateral engagement, including through funding for projects supporting human rights and democracy, on which we spent 1.25 million pounds in the 2011–12 financial year,” the report said.
Among the major fields of concern in Russia, British human rights advocates name human rights abuses in the North Caucasus, journalists’ security, women’s and minority rights.
According to the report, Britain spent 900,000 pounds in 2011 to fight violations in the North Caucasus via the UK government-backed Conflict Prevention Pool.
Britain also funded several Russian non-government organizations, working to ensure journalists’ rights, freedom of expression and assembly as well as women and gays’ rights.
Reporters Without Borders ranked Russia 142 out of 179 countries in their 2011Press Freedom Index.