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Putin warns UN human rights commissioner not to politicize issues

[JURIST] Russian president Vladimir Putin [official website] welcomed an international dialogue on human rights issues Thursday during a meeting with UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour [official profile], but warned that rights issues should not be exploited for political and economic ends. Arbour is making her first visit to Russia [UN news release] in her UN role this week. During the meeting, Putin promised to listen to "objective" comments on human rights in Russia and promised to adhere to international standards. Russia has been criticized by the international community for its handling of the situation in Chechnya, where the government was accused of human rights abuses against civilians and refused to negotiate with rebels. The Russian Presidency provides an official summary of the Putin-Arbour meeting, which comes a day after the Russian deputy foreign minister said the UN needed to drastically alter its human rights structure [Mosnews.com report]. Yuri Fedotov said the work of the UN Commission on Human Rights in particular had become "politicized." Mosnews.com has local coverage. AP has more.

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