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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

U.S. Rights Report Riles Moscow

The Foreign Ministry on Wednesday hit out at a U.S. State Department report critical of Moscow's human rights record, saying U.S. support for civic groups and democratic opposition parties here violated international law.

The ministry said in a statement that the report, "Supporting Human Rights and Democracy: The U.S. Record 2006," contained unfair criticism of Russia's political system and distorted its record on human rights.

Russia remains open for a "constructive dialogue," the statement said, but would not tolerate "using democracy and human rights issues as a cover for interference in its internal affairs."

The State Department report, issued last week, pointedly avoided calling Russia's political system a democracy, instead characterizing it as "a weak multiparty political system with a strong presidency," which had only grown stronger in 2006. The report also described U.S. financial aid to NGOs and independent media, including efforts to help promote free and fair elections.

The Foreign Ministry said the funding ran contrary to "such principles of the international law as respect for nation's sovereignty," as well as internationally recognized rules governing embassy activities.