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Putin slams EU criticism of Russia's rights record

Putin slams EU criticism of Russia's rights record
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Russian President Vladmir Putin on Friday hit out at EU criticism of Moscow’s human rights record, suggesting there are worse violations inside the 27-member bloc itself.

He was speaking a two-day EU-Russia summit in Brussels, which touched on issues such as energy and immigration.

But Putin reserved his toughest words for this attack on alleged abuses against Russian speakers in the Baltics.

“We are concerned about outrageous facts of violation of rights of Russian speaking population in some countries of the EU, in the Baltic states we’re concerned about the hero worship of scum bags who follow Nazi ideology,” he told reporters.

European Council President Herman Van Rompuy also alluded to recent rights concerns in Russia, following a recent crackdown on the opposition.

“The EU is deeply convinced that we need to create space for civil society activities in order to achieve an effective modernisation of the economy and of the society,” he said.

Those comments come after authorities in Russia charged leading opposition figure Alexei Navalny and his brother Oleg with fraud and money-laundering on Thursday.

Both deny the charges.