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Last Updated: Thursday, 10 February, 2005, 19:58 GMT
Putin firm on Russia human rights
Louise Arbour and Vladimir Putin
Putin says Russia upholds all fundamental rights standards
Russian President Vladimir Putin has said Moscow will not tolerate attempts to use human rights for political aims.

But he told the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Louise Arbour, that Moscow would listen to "objective criticism" of its human rights record.

Mr Putin said Moscow had its own view on the observation of human rights in regions where Russia had its interests - a reference primarily to Chechnya.

Russia has faced international criticism over its forces there.

The president was speaking during Ms Arbour's first visit to Moscow as human rights commissioner.

She expressed hope her visit would establish a good basis for co-operation.

She said she approached human rights "from a legal rather than from a political point of view".

Mr Putin told her: "Russia upholds, without fail, all fundamental human rights standards and all of its international obligations in this area.

"I believe it is exceptionally important that we work together on standards and common approaches in this highly sensitive and very important area."

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