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Svenska Dagbladet - Sweden | Friday, December 21, 2012

EU must keep an eye on Russia

The EU must no longer tolerate the erosion of civil rights in Russia, the conservative daily Svenska Dagbladet demands: "Since Putin was elected again as president in May his grip on power has grown tighter. However not because of his iron fist, but thanks to more subtle methods - namely Lady Justice. NGOs and other non-profit organisations must now register as 'foreign agents' and the freedom of assembly has been curtailed. … We need to discuss this, the EU Council President Van Rompuy and EU Commission President Barroso will say when they meet the Russian president in Brussels today. This is none of your business, Putin will tell them. We can expect to see some strained smiles at the photo shooting that rounds off the EU-Russia summit. Because finally the EU has adopted a sharper tone regarding the human rights situation in Russia, not least because of the pressure resulting from the case of Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitski [who died in Russian custody in 2009]."

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