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Russian FM Accuses EU Foreign Policy Chief Of 'Interfering'

The European Union's High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton
Russia has accused European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton of interfering in the country's internal affairs.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Aleksandr Lukashevich said that, in a speech at the European Parliament on February 1, Ashton had been trying to "lecture" Russian authorities.

In her speech, Ashton urged the Russian government to engage in dialogue with the opposition and "define an agenda of change."

She also urged authorities to review their decision to deny opposition leader Grigory Yavlinsky the chance to register as a candidate in the election.

Ministry spokesman Lukashevich said on February 2 that Ashton's assessment of the upcoming election -- in which Prime Minister Vladimir Putin is seeking a third term as president -- was "tendentious

Compiled from agency reports