Moscow believes that the Human Rights and Democracy Report in 2011 is nonobjective and the serious democratic reforms successfully implemented in Russia were not considered, the Russian Foreign Ministry’s ombudsman for human rights, Konstantin Dolgov, said on Saturday.
The document prepared by the British Foreign Office states that human rights issues remain a top priority in Russian-U.K. bilateral relations.
“The UK’s approach to assessing the real situation in the human rights sphere in our country is not impartial and open minded; information and sources were used and the authenticity raises serious doubts. Unfortunately, and this time the authors apparently deliberately left out of the report serious democratic reforms, which were successfully implemented in Russia,” Dolgov said.
Among the major fields of concern in Russia, British human rights advocates name human rights abuses in the North Caucasus, journalists’ security, women 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 gay rights.
According to Dolgov, however, Moscow is ready to continue discussions with London about issues related to human rights, both in Russia and in Britain.
“It should be a fair, constructive and mutually respectful conversation, free from stereotypes of confrontation and politicized morals,” he added.
Reporters Without Borders ranked Russia 142 out of 179 countries in their 2011Press Freedom Index.