[JURIST] German Chancellor Angela Merkel [official website] and other European Union (EU) leaders criticized Russia's human rights record [JURIST news archive] in a series of exchanges at a press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin [official website] Friday, marking the end of a summit between the EU and Russia. Merkel, speaking to reporters, raised concerns about Russia's democratic freedoms with reports that Russian officials have detained protesters traveling to the city of Samara, where the summit was being held. Putin dismissed the reports, insisting that all protests violently dispersed by police were illegal demonstrations not staged "in accordance with the law."
Putin in turn criticized the EU for not responding to the death of a Russian citizen in Estonia [Reuters report] during a clash between ethnic Russians and police over removal of a Red Army war memorial [IHT report]. AP has more.