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Russian, US envoys trade barbs over US envoy's meeting with Pussy Riot

Published on Feb 6, 2014 11:23 AM
 
United States Ambassador to the United Nations (UN) Samantha Power (left) meets Maria Alyokhina (second left) and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova of the Russian dissident band Pussy Riot, and Nadezha's husband Pyotr Verzilov (right) at the US Mission to the United Nations in New York on Feb 5, 2014. Ms Power on Wednesday discussed "disturbing" trends in Russia with the Pussy Riot members, prompting Moscow's UN envoy to ask if she was joining the group. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

NEW YORK (Reuters) - United States Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power on Wednesday discussed "disturbing" trends in Russia with members of Russian punk band Pussy Riot, prompting Moscow's United Nations envoy to ask if she was joining the group.

Ms Power, who was well known for her own human rights activism before she joined the first administration of US President Barack Obama after his 2008 election, met Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina. The duo are due to speak at an all-star concert in the New York borough of Brooklyn on Wednesday night.

Ms Power and the two band members discussed "the disturbing trend in (Russia) of legislation, prosecutions and government actions aimed at suppressing dissent and pressuring groups that advocate for fundamental human rights and basic government accountability". Ms Power's deputy spokesman Kurtis Cooper said.

The meeting took place at the US mission to the United Nations.

 
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