SOCHI, September 13 (RIA Novosti)
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Moscow disagrees with criticism over the allegedly deteriorating human rights situation in Russia expressed by European lawmakers on Thursday because their conclusions are based on unconfirmed and unreliable sources, Russian president's press secretary Dmitry Peskov said.
On Thursday the European Parliament adopted a resolution that reflects its grave concern about "the deteriorating climate" for the development of civil society in Russia and refers to the recent legislation on demonstrations, NGOs, defamation and the Internet.
“We cannot agree with this resolution, as it is unclear what sources of information the document relies upon and what kind of analysis the European lawmakers used as the groundwork for their conclusions," Peskov said.
“It is certain, though, that these sources are unreliable and the analysis distorts reality,” the official said.
The resolution specifically cites the notorious cases of the punk band Pussy Riot, lawyer Sergei Magnitsky and the opposition party member Gennady Gudkov as examples of politically motivated intimidation of opposition activists and abuse of power by the Russian law enforcement authorities.
The European lawmakers also expressed fear that the law on extremism in Russia could lead to the restriction of the freedoms of association, expression and belief in the country.
The non-legislative resolution urged the European Union "to exert constant pressure on the Russian authorities to meet the OSCE standards on human rights, democracy, the rule of law and the independence of the judiciary."
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News that Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin would resign in order to run for the mayoral election in September came as quite a shock. Sobyanin’s political potential is fairly dubious, not to mention his approval ratings. He has not finished many of the projects he initiated and the electoral effect from these projects is expected to come a bit later than September 2013. Sobyanin’s opponents were not entirely unprepared for this blitzkrieg.