Human rights in Russia
Swedish Foreign Minister Leila Freivalds thinks that the US and the EU "must make common cause in confronting Russia over lapses on human rights."
Swedish Foreign Minister Leila Freivalds said yesterday the United States and Europe must make common cause in confronting Russia over lapses on human rights and relations with its neighbors.
The planned expansion of the European Union with 10 new members this spring will bring the bloc to the borders of Russia. Mrs. Freivalds, who met with Secretary of State Colin L. Powell in Washington yesterday, says Moscow has attempted to impose new conditions and restrictions on its relations with the enlarged European Union.
"So far, Russia has been playing games with us, and that's not acceptable," she said.
Mr. Powell offered muted criticism of Russian domestic and foreign policy during a January meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow, and Mrs. Freivalds said EU leaders are trying to formulate a new strategy for dealing with Russia.
"The United States and the European Union have to work hard to cooperate on Russia," Mrs. Freivalds said at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. "We share some values, and we are not sure that Russia today shares those values."