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German Chancellor Angela Merkel expressed alarm at the detention of activists intending to protest against the Russian government.

Vladimir Putin retorted that Estonia's ethnic Russians were being persecuted.

Correspondents said the exchanges just illustrated the souring mood between the EU and its eastern neighbour.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/6668111.stm

by zoe on Fri May 18th, 2007 at 02:47:01 PM EST

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