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Debates
Wednesday, 5 February 2014 - Strasbourg Revised edition

19. EU-Russia summit (debate)
Video of the speeches
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  Kristiina Ojuland, on behalf of the ALDE Group . – Madam President, Commissioners, I could be very brief and just say this in two words, but relations between the European Union and Russia do not look good. Unfortunately, over the past decade our relations have lost a significant part of their potential. Instead of the expected progress and closer economic and political ties, we have witnessed the exact opposite: the continuing deterioration of human nights, the unacceptable and undemocratic pressure on our eastern partners and the rough infringement of WTO trade rules all illustrate how Russia has consistently and systematically disrupted the improvement of the situation.

This state of our relations was also the reason why the format of the EU-Russia Summit was modified, so that instead of a two-day working session with dinner, the meeting was held behind closed doors and only lasted for a couple of hours. This House has consistently drawn attention to the issues which need to be addressed and solved, and we hope that the Commission and Council representatives stuck to the same coherent line.

We must not be tricked into believing that the sudden array of presidential pardons before the Sochi Olympic Games will change the lack of the rule of law or improve the human rights conditions in Russia. Nor should we believe that Russia has no intentions to interfere in the conflict in Ukraine. We must be very pragmatic and listen to the people of Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova, who are all very much afraid that anything can happen there after the Olympic Games in these regions. We have to sign as soon as possible the association agreements with Georgia and Moldova, and hopefully soon with Ukraine too.

 
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