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Russia Says U.S. Human Rights Report May Damage Relations

The U.S. report criticized President Putin for centralizing power (file photo) (official site) March 10, 2006 -- The Russian Foreign Ministry today denounced a U.S. government report criticizing human rights in Russia, saying it could damage relations between the two countries.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Mikhail Kamynin in a statement said the U.S. State Department report on March 8 was full of "twisted facts" and "double standards" and hinders the "normal development" of Russian-U.S. relations.

The State Department report singled out what it described as the "continued centralization of power in the executive branch" and said it was leading to "an erosion of the accountability of government leaders to the people."

It also expressed concern about Chechnya, where it said Russian forces and pro-Moscow Chechen forces engaged in abuses, including torture, summary executions, and arbitrary detentions.

Kamynin said the report "creates a feeling in Russian society that U.S. politics is biased against Russia."

(Interfax, AFP)

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