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Russian President Dmitri Medvedev was in Brussels to discuss bilateral economic and trade development issues. But he came under fire from officials for electoral fraud back in Russia. Our correspondents in Brussels bring you the report.
While meeting EU leaders in Brussels on December 15th to discuss issues of energy, trade and Russia's accession to the World Trade Organization, Russian President Dmitri Medvedev came under fire for alleged election fraud in Russia.
[Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council]:
“We are concerned about the irregularities and lack of fairness, and we are concerned by the detention of protesters.”
Mikhail Kasyanov, a Former Russian Prime Minister, said at a press conference at the European Parliament on Tuesday that 20% of the votes in Russia's December 4th election involved fraud.
The European Parliament has also entered the fray by calling for a new election and investigation of all reports of fraud and intimidation.
The Russian president blasted the move as meddling in Russia's internal affairs.
[Dmitri Medvedev, Russian President]:
“I have nothing to say on this resolution, because these are our elections. They can comment on anything they want. I will not comment on their decisions as they mean nothing to me.”
But critics say Russian authorities are doing just that by trying to extend freedom of press restrictions outside their own borders.
Anna Vvedenskaia, a Russian journalist, was refused access to a press conference of the Russia-EU summit in Brussels, because of her criticism of Medvedev on a BBC International Broadcast the day before.
[Anna Vvedenskaia, Senior Russian Reporter]:
“Because we as Russians, we had a lot of hope in his role. We had hope that Russia...