EU officials plan to raise the issue of Russia's recent parliamentary elections, which the opposition claims were rigged, in talks with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev this week.
Maja Kocijancic, spokeswoman for EU foreign-policy chief Catherine Ashton, said she expected the issue would be raised at the EU-Russia summit due to take place on December 14-15 in Brussels.
"We expect that in the course of the [EU-Russia] summit, when the two sides will discuss the latest developments, the issue of elections and what has happened will be raised," Kocijancic said.
Kocijancic also said the EU "welcomed" Medvedev's decision to open an enquiry on the alleged electoral fraud.
Medvedev on December 11 said he had asked officials to look into reports of possible fraud
during the December 4 elections, but categorically rejected calls for a rerun of the vote.
The ruling United Russia party won nearly half of the votes in the election.
On December 10, tens of thousands of people gathered in Moscow
alone, calling for fresh parliamentary elections.
Several thousand pro-Kremlin youth activists, meanwhile, staged their own gathering in central Moscow on December 12 under the slogan "Glory to Russia!"
compiled from agency reports