On 4 May 2011 a regular round of Russia-EU expert consultations on human rights was held within the framework of bilateral political dialogue.
In accordance with the agreed agenda the parties discussed the issues of rule of law, fight against contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and intolerance, functioning of civil society, promotion of children’s rights and cooperation within international organizations.
The Russian side informed EU partners on the progress of judicial reform in the Russian Federation, improvement of criminal and procedural legislation as well as other legal and law-enforcement measures promoting all categories of human rights. Consultations also embraced discussion of programmes aimed at ensuring children’s rights in Russia and the European Union.
At the request of EU representatives the Russian delegation provided clarifications on a number of individual cases related to alleged violations of human rights and brought up similar questions in front of the interlocutors.
The Russian side drew the attention of EU partners to a surge of xenophobia and extremism in Europe, rise of political influence of nationalist-oriented parties and organizations, a growing number of violations of migrants’ rights and difficult situation of ethnic minorities. The issue concerning the situation of Russian-speaking population in the Baltic States was raised, which finds no improvement despite persistent recommendations of international control bodies in the sphere of human rights.
The parties also discussed Russia-EU cooperation in key international human rights fora and exchanged assessments of the recent sessions of the UN Council on Human Rights and activities of the Council of Europe.
The next round of Russia-EU human rights consultations is scheduled in Brussels in the second half of 2011.