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Russian Federation

Volume 405: debated on Monday 19 May 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what reports he has received on discrimination on grounds of race relations in the Russian federation. [110211]

Combating racism and intolerance is an integral part of the protection and promotion of human rights and a key UK commitment at home and abroad. We are fully aware that discrimination on the grounds of race is a serious problem in Russia, as a result of human rights reporting produced by our embassy in Moscow and our regular contacts with NGOs including Amnesty International.The Russian Federation's most recent report to the committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination highlighted the many positive steps taken by the Government to implement the provisions of the International Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination. However, it also acknowledged some of the problems faced by minorities in Russia, including reports of nationality-motivated discrimination by law-enforcement officers and officials. Other recent reports on this issue include one by the Moscow Helsinki Group published in September 2002.