Top European Union officials on Monday condemned the suicide bombings on the Moscow underground which left at least 35 people dead, saying the EU stands with Russia against terrorism and for freedom and democracy, DPA reported.
Relations between Europe's two great blocs are often prickly, especially over questions of democracy and human rights, but both sides insist that they are partners, rather than rivals.
"People have a right to feel safe as they go about their daily lives: we cannot allow violence to prevail against freedom and democracy," the head of the EU's executive, Jose Manuel Barroso, said in a message condemning the attacks addressed to Russia's President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.
EU officials and politicians regularly accuse the Russian state in general, and Putin in particular, of rolling back democratic reforms.
Barroso stressed that "the EU stands resolutely with the Russian authorities in their efforts to counter terrorism in all its forms."
Separately, the EU's diplomatic director, Catherine Ashton, said that "I deeply deplore the tragic loss of lives in Moscow this morning (and) would like to express my profound sympathies, condolences and support to the families of the victims, their loved ones, and to the people of Russia."