Procedure : 2011/2948(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B7-0695/2011

Texts tabled :


Debates :

OJ 13/12/2011 - 146

Votes :

PV 14/12/2011 - 7.10

Texts adopted :


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See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B7-0693/2011

to wind up the debate on the statement by the Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy

pursuant to Rule 110(2) of the Rules of Procedure

on the EU-Russia summit (2011/2948(RSP))

Kristiina Ojuland, Guy Verhofstadt, Leonidas Donskis, Robert Rochefort, Edward McMillan-Scott, Marietje Schaake, Ramon Tremosa i Balcells, Sonia Alfano, Izaskun Bilbao Barandica, Johannes Cornelis van Baalen, Graham Watson on behalf of the ALDE Group

European Parliament resolution on the EU-Russia summit (2011/2948(RSP))  

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to the existing Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA) between the European Communities and their Member States, on one part, and the Russian Federation, on the other part, and the negotiations initiated in 2008 on a new EU-Russia agreement, as well as to the ‘Partnership for Modernisation’ initiated in 2010,

–   having regard to its previous reports and resolutions on Russia and on EU-Russia relations, in particular the resolution on the preparation for the Russian State Duma elections, adopted on 5 July 2011,

–   having regard to the EU-Russia human rights consultations and the latest meeting held in this context on 29 November 2011,

–   having regard to the decision of the Russian Ministry of Justice on 22 June 2011 to refuse the application for official registration of the People’s Freedom Party (PARNAS), which has made the party unable to field candidates and take part in the December State Duma elections, and, most likely, prevent it from participation in the Russian Presidential elections in March 2012,

–   having regard to the obligation to uphold democratic principles entailed by Russia’s membership in the Council of Europe and as a signatory of the European Convention of Human Rights,

–   having regard to the letter by Foreign Ministers Sikorski and Westerwelle to the High Representative on the EU-Russia strategic relationship of 8 November 2011,

–   having regard to the statements by the High Representative, Catherine Ashton, on 6 and 7 December 2011,

–   having regard to the preliminary conclusions presented by Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (OSCE/ODIHR), the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly (OSCE PA) and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) following the international elections observation mission for the State Duma elections on 4 December 2011,

–   having regard to the forthcoming EU-Russia summit in Brussels on 15 December 2011,

–   having regard to Rule 110(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A. whereas the European Union remains committed to further deepening and developing the relations between EU and Russia, which is shown by the Union’s commitment to seriously engage in negotiating a new framework agreement for the further development of EU-Russia relations and whereas the European Union and Russia have established deep and comprehensive relations, particularly in the energy, economic and business sectors and have become intertwined and mutually interdependent in the global economy;

B.  whereas the European Union and its Member States must remain vigilant in safeguarding democratic principles and the rule of law in the world, in particular with an important neighbouring country like Russia, which, through its membership of the Council of Europe, has committed itself to share and uphold democratic principles, the rule of law and respect for fundamental values;

C. whereas similar commitments and obligations stem from Russia’s membership of the OSCE and whereas Russia’s accession to the WTO is based on the assumption that the rule of law is upheld in the country;

D. whereas the European Court of Human Rights has condemned the Russian Federation for serious human rights violations in many cases and judgments and the implementation of the ECHR rulings remain inadequate;

E.  whereas the European Parliament and other EU institutions and high officials have repeatedly criticised Russia on a number of serious breeches of democratic standards, human rights violations and failures to uphold the rule of law;

F.  whereas the legitimacy of the State Duma elections were undermined from the outset by the refusal to register and allow all opposition parties to take part and by the widely held suspicion among the Russian citizens that the campaign was stage-managed by the Kremlin;

G. whereas the preliminary findings of the OSCE/ODIHR, OSCE PA and PACE election monitoring mission confirms these views and provides ample evidence of the weaknesses in the electoral process;

H. whereas the European Parliament resolution on Human Rights in the World 2009 and EU policy on the matter of 21 October 2010 called on the EU Council to consider an entry ban and asset freeze for those Russian officials involved in the death of Sergey Magnitsky;

1.  Stresses that the future development of EU-Russia relations will depend on the efforts to strengthen democracy, the rule of law and the respect for fundamental rights inside Russia; underlines that the medium and long-term political and economic stability and development in Russia is dependent on the emergence of true democratic choice;

2.  Expects the forthcoming EU-Russia Summit 15 December 2011 to focus primarily on questions related to democracy and the rule of law in Russia and Russia’s compliance with its international obligations in this field;

3.  Notes with concern the reports of ballot stuffing, vote rigging and lack of pluralistic choice in the 4 December 2011 State Duma elections; calls on the Russian authorities to conduct full investigation on all credible reports of electoral fraud; notes that even in these circumstances the Russian electorate has sent a clear message of dissatisfaction with the ruling party, which saw a big fall in support;

4.  Stresses that the recent calls for an annulment of the 4 December 2011 State Duma elections, along with the demands for a revision of the election law, in close co-operation with the Council of Europe Venice Commission, and the demand of holding new Duma elections should be seriously considered by the authorities in order for the State Duma to function legitimately;

5.  Calls for immediate and unconditional release of all peaceful demonstrators in the aftermath of the disputed State Duma elections; calls on the Russia authorities to respect the freedom of assembly;

6.  Considers that the refusal to register the People’s Freedom Party as well as several other parties, seriously undermined the principle of political pluralism and freedom of association, which are indispensible elements of genuine democracy;

7.  Expresses its dissatisfaction with the fact that opposition parties are not registered, that citizens’ rights and freedoms are violated and that the media is bullied into submission; calls for an honest international evaluation on the 4 December elections on the basis that they were not conducted in line with democratic standards and Russia’s own Constitution and therefore cannot be considered free or fair;

8.  Expresses its concerns about the large-scale censorship of opposition websites and weblogs, condemns the arrest and detainment of bloggers and online journalists and calls for their immediate and unconditional release;

9.  Expresses particular concern about the rule of law in Russia and the evident weaknesses in the judicial system in the country; reiterates its often repeated concern over the many judicial shortcomings in Russia and calls on the Russian authorities to engage in judicial and administrative reforms to strengthen the rule of law in Russia and to end political interference in the judiciary;

10. Encourages the Council of Europe to consider whether the serious violations reported during 4 December 2011 parliamentary elections, which follows numerous earlier decisions limiting the freedom of association and political expression, is in line with Russia’s obligations as a member of the Council of Europe; recalls that the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe holds the right to withhold ratification of the credentials of parliamentarians elected through elections deemed in breach with European standards; a similar reconsideration of working contacts with the State Duma should be taken by the European Parliament as regards its interparliamentary cooperation bodies;

11. Underlines that the systematic failure of Russia to respect democratic principles, the rule of law and fundamental rights must be reflected in the negotiating position of the European Union as regards the work on a new Partnership and Cooperation Agreement; reiterates its support for a comprehensive, legally binding agreement that covers political, economic and social issues and which includes all areas related to democracy, the rule of law and respect for human rights, particularly fundamental rights, provided that Russia is ready to take steps to enhance the rule of law and respect for human rights;

12. Stresses that the right to free speech, both offline and online, is fundamental to a free and democratic society as well as to the protection and promotion of other rights; emphasizes that unrestricted access to information and communication and uncensored access to the internet (internet freedom) are universal rights and indispensable for ensuring transparency and accountability in public life;

13. Equally reiterates its support for the Partnership for Modernisation, but underlines that Russia must abide by and implement fundamental principles of democracy, the rule of law, human rights and media freedom as a basis for strengthened and enhanced cooperation with the European Union; calls on Russia to take concrete action to improve its human rights record and to protect journalists, human rights activists, minorities and opposition representatives from violence and intimidation;

14. Calls on the Commission, Council and the EEAS to proceed with the negotiations on a new agreement with Russia only after a new EU-Russia Strategy is drawn up by the High Representative during the first half of 2012, this strategy should be adopted shortly after the Russian Presidential election in March 2012; supports recent initiative by Foreign Ministers Sikorski and Westerwelle that calls for basing EU-Russia relationship on the principles of constructive engagement and accountability;

15. Underlines that that the new EU-Russia strategy and the EU-Russia Partnership and Cooperation Agreement currently under negotiation should better reflect the realities inside Russia and pay particular attention to democracy and the rule of law; does not consider it possible under current circumstance to offer Russia a status of ‘strategic partner’ of the European Union;

16. Calls on the Council of Europe and the OSCE to make an assessment of Russian compliance with the obligations stemming from their membership in these organisations;

17. Considers that a new policy towards Russia’s rulers should be complemented by increased people-to-people contacts, engagement with Russian civil society and other measures securing democracy and the rule of law in Russia and that the cooperation and engagement with the Russian leadership should be pragmatic and conditional on internal developments inside Russia in crucial areas such as respect for democracy and the rule of law;

18. Welcomes the finalisation of the list of Common Steps towards visa free short term travel for Russian and EU citizens and hopes that their implementation will pave the way for the negotiation of a visa waiver agreement;

19. Considers that the current visa regime between the EU and Russia puts unnecessary obstacles to improving people-to-people contacts; supports the visa liberalisation process that is reciprocal and focuses on the citizens, while keeping pressure on the authorities to live up to their international obligations;

20. Stresses that diversification of energy sources and supply routes is a strategic element of EU energy security policy; regrets, in this respect, the objections raised by Russia to the forthcoming negotiations between the EU, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan on the building of a Trans-Caspian pipeline system;

21. Calls on the Council and the Commission to ensure that the principles of the Energy Charter Treaty and the Transit Protocol annexed thereto are included in a new EU and Russia agreement;

22. Takes note of the report released in July 2011 by President Medvedev’s Human Rights Council which provided evidence that Sergey Magnitsky’s arrest was unlawful and that his detention was marked by beatings and torture aimed at extracting a confession of guilt; welcomes the decision of the US State Department, the UK Foreign Office and of the Dutch Parliament to establish a black list of Russian officials believed to be connected to the death of Sergey Magnitsky; considers that similar measures should be introduced by the European Union as a whole and expects the Russia authorities to bring to justice those who played a role in Magnitsky’s false arrest, torture, denial of medical care and murder in custody as well as the cover up of the crime;

23. Condemns the recent proposals to criminalise public information about sexual orientation and gender identity in various Russian regions and at federal level; reminds the Russian authorities of its obligations to uphold the freedom of expression and the rights of LGBT people, calls on the External Action Service to mark the EUs strong opposition to these proposals during the 15 December 2011 EU-Russia summit;

24. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the governments and parliaments of the Member States, the Government and Parliament of the Russian Federation, the Council of Europe and the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

Last updated: 13 December 2011Legal notice