The Straits Times
Published on Oct 23, 2012

Russia condemns US for human rights record


MOSCOW (REUTERS) - Russia accused the United States (US) on Monday of double standards on human rights, criticising its failure to close Guantanamo Bay prison and its use of the death penalty while the US Congress considers a law which could punish Moscow for alleged abuses.

Russia and the US attempted to "reset" their relations when President Barack Obama entered the White House in 2009, but ties have turned decidedly cooler since Vladimir Putin declared last year he planned to return to the presidency.

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has declared that Russia is Washington's number one geopolitical foe, while Moscow has chafed under recent US allegations that it harbours human rights abusers.

Now two weeks before the US presidential election, the State Duma lower parliament house held a three-hour hearing criticising its former Cold War foe.