MOSCOW, November 29 (RIA Novosti) – Moscow is determined to eradicate what it describes as “double standards” at the UN Human Rights Council, Russian diplomats said at a human rights meeting with the European Union on Friday.
The United Nations General Assembly elected Russia to the council earlier this month. The international body, responsible for promoting and defending human rights around the globe, comprises 47 states elected for a three-year term.
“The Russian side noted that the HRC is becoming increasingly politicized and, as its newly elected member, expressed its intention to make all possible efforts to overcome the state of confrontation [and] eradicate the ‘double standards’ policy,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
The ministry made its statement as Russia and the EU exchanged views on the human rights situation in their respective spaces at a meeting in Brussels.
The Russian delegation gave a clarification of the recently adopted law forbidding the promotion of homosexuality to minors, reiterating the official position that it is aimed at protecting children from harmful influences.
The law’s critics in Russia and abroad allege the move restricts freedom of speech and is part of a broader crackdown on Russia’s gay community.
Russia, meanwhile, expressed concern about the intensified violation of rights of national and language minorities in the EU, clampdowns on journalists and human rights activists and the growth of “ethnic discrimination, intolerance and xenophobia.”
Russia also drew attention to the problem of so-called “non-citizens” in Latvia and Estonia, mostly Russian speakers who immigrated into the republic during the Soviet era. They have no right to vote or to be elected.
The next round of EU-Russian human rights consultations will take place in Brussels next year.