U.S. Vice President Joe Biden on Thursday gave Russian environment activist Yevgeniya Chirikova a prestigious U.S. medal during a meeting with rights advocates in Moscow.
Chirikova, the leading protester against the construction of a government-backed road through the Khimki forest near Moscow, was given the U.S. State Department Women of Courage award.
Several journalists who have campaigned against the project have been attacked.
Speaking after the meeting, Oleg Orlov, head of Russia's top human rights group Memorial, said the agenda included human rights abuses, corruption, the state of Russia's legal system and ways to deal with the terrorism threat.
He said the issues discussed "found [Biden's] understanding."
Rights advocate Svetlana Gannushkina proposed expanding the work of a U.S.-Russia working group on civil society to include issues related to the legal system and rights abuses.
During the meeting, Biden said democracy, fair elections and the observation of human rights were essential for Russia's accession to the World Trade Organization.
MOSCOW, March 10 (RIA Novosti)