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Tension between Russia and the EU on the upcoming elections

The current social movement and mass political protests in Russia are not simply an internal domestic matter; they have implications for the entire European and Eurasian region.

High Representative of European Union Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton expressed concern over the disqualification of popular opposition leader Grigory Yavlinsky in the upcoming presidential elections. In a speech delievered to the European Parliament yesterday, Ashton called on the Russian leadership to immediately review the election board’s decision and act on OSCE (Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe) recommendations to address identified problems in the electoral system.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Alexander Lukashevich later lambasted her speech as politically inappropriate and presumptuous to speak on the behalf of Russian civil society.

To view the highlights of the EU High Representative’s speech,

visit ENPI: http://enpi-info.eu/maineast.php?id=27811&id_type=1&lang_id=450,
Euractiv: http://www.euractiv.com/europes-east/ashton-sheds-light-eus-russia-diplomacy-news-510553
or RiaNovosti: http://en.ria.ru/russia/20120202/171080485.html.

To find out more about the Russian government’s reaction, visit Voice of America: http://www.voanews.com/english/news/europe/Russia-Criticizes-EUs-Foreign-Policy-Chief-for-Interfering-138591699.html

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