10 Decembre / 2020

Press-release by The Permanent Mission of Russia to the EU on the Human Rights Day

On 10 December 1948 the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and starting from 1950 this date is celebrated as the Human Rights Day.

Russia has always advocated and continues championing the universal character of human rights and freedoms laid down by the UN Charter, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other fundamental international human rights documents.

Lately we are concerned by an utterly detrimental effect the growing trend to politicise this issue has on the overall human rights situation in the world. Sometimes it comes to direct humanitarian interventions when the state sovereignty, citizens’ rights and freedoms are violated by a country or a group of countries under a specious pretext of upholding human rights. We witness the use of double standards and promotion of certain countries’ geopolitical interests.

Unfortunately, our EU partners, in spite of their proclaimed full commitment to defending human rights as the key value, are de facto quite selective in defining those who can enjoy such advantages. For instance, the phenomenon of “non-citizenship”, a disgrace in the 21st century, still remains in the Baltic countries depriving a part of their population (mostly Russian-speaking) of political and certain social and economic rights.

The deliberate policy of violating linguistic rights of the Russian-speaking population in the Baltic countries is outrageous. The same applies to Ukraine. The discriminatory laws it has adopted run counter to its relevant international commitments. Besides, a grave situation with media freedom in the Baltic countries and Ukraine is extremely alarming. These counties have literally become dangerous to Russian-speaking journalists.

In 2020 the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs prepared detailed reports “Human Rights Situation in Certain Countries“ (https://bit.ly/2VY0r14) and “Human Rights Situation in Ukraine” (https://bit.ly/37OAy9N) which cite numerous examples revealing a deplorable situation in this field.

The Russia’s stance on the decision adopted by the Council of the EU on 7 December 2020 to establish another sanctions mechanism, this time the one concerning human rights, is well known. We regard the EU unilateral restrictive measures adopted bypassing the UN Security Council as another attempt by the EU to resort to illegitimate pressure tools contradicting fundamental principles of international law. The EU, so often claiming to be a UN privileged partner, undermines by its own actions the prerogatives of one of the main bodies of the universal organisation, the UN Security Council.

It is important that everyone realises that promotion of the principles stipulated in the Universal Declaration can only be effective if it is grounded on an equal, mutually respectful and constructive cooperation between countries. On 13 October 2020 Russia was elected to the United Nations Human Rights Council at the plenary meeting of the 75th session of the UN General Assembly. In this capacity the Russian Federation will continue working actively for the development of a constructive interstate cooperation in the field of human rights.