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Russian FM assails EU foreign policy chief

MOSCOW (AP) – The Foreign Ministry is accusing the European Union foreign policy chief of interfering in Russia’s internal affairs in her statement on the Russian election.

Spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said Catherine Ashton’s speech at the European Parliament Thursday contained a “tendentious” assessment of the presidential election campaign.

In her speech, Ashton urged the Russian government to engage in dialogue with the opposition and “define an agenda of change.”

She also urged authorities to review their decision to deny registration for the race to opposition leader Grigory Yavlinsky.

Massive protests in December cast a challenge to Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s bid to extend his 12-year rule by reclaiming the presidency in March’s election.

Another big rally is set for this weekend.

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