Procedure : 2012/2505(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B7-0057/2012

Texts tabled :


Debates :

Votes :

PV 16/02/2012 - 8.6

Texts adopted :


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See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B7-0052/2012

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 situation in Russia (2012/2505(RSP))

Charles Tannock, Marek Henryk Migalski, Ryszard Antoni Legutko, Paweł Robert Kowal, Michał Tomasz Kamiński, Konrad Szymański, Tomasz Piotr Poręba, Ryszard Czarnecki, Roberts Zīle, Mirosław Piotrowski on behalf of the ECR Group

European Parliament resolution on the situation in Russia (2012/2505(RSP))  

The European Parliament,

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

–   having regard to the statement presented by the OSCE, 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 election observation for the State Duma elections on 4 December 2011,

–   having regard to its previous reports and resolutions on Russia and on EU-Russia relations,

–   having regard to the EU-Russia human rights consultations,

–   having regard to the joint statement of the Russia-EU Permanent Partnership Council on Freedom, Security and Justice 11 October 2011 in Warsaw,

–   having regard to the joint statements issued at the 27th EU-Russia Summit held in Nizhny Novgorod on 9-10 June 2011,

–   having regard to the statement by EU High Representative, Catherine Ashton, on the Duma elections in the Russian Federation of 6 December 2011,

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

A.  whereas the Constitution of the Russian Federation guarantees its citizens full rights and liberties; whereas Russia has committed itself to protecting and promoting human rights, fundamental freedoms and the rule of law as a member of the Council of Europe and Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and signatory to numerous international treaties, including the European Convention of Human Rights, Universal Declaration of Human Rights, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights;

B.  whereas according to the OSCE/ODIHR and an election-monitoring group Golos reports the 4 December 2011 Russian Duma parliamentary elections were marked by a number of significant electoral irregularities and manipulations, including multiple voting (so-called 'bus carousels'), pre-filled ballots, hampering oppositional parties observers and detentions of journalists documenting the elections; whereas the OSCE/ODIHR assessed the vote count as 'bad or very bad' in 34 out of 115 observed polling stations;

C.  whereas, prior to the elections, government officials and representatives of local authorities exerted pressure and used threats against public servants, teachers, pensioners and students in order to guarantee their support for the United Russia Party;

D.  whereas only seven parties were allowed to field candidates, while the main opposition groups, including the People’s Freedom Party, were denied registration and barred from campaigning; whereas in past few years Parnas is the ninth political party that, under various pretexts, has been refused to be officially registered;


E.  whereas electoral irregularities led Russian people to the peaceful demonstrations of discontent which took place during mass protests in Moscow and other cities, involving around 100,000 citizens; whereas hundreds of oppositionists have been detained by the police; whereas a number of peaceful demonstrations calling for free and fair presidential elections are being demanded by civil society activists;

F.  whereas protests begin to take the form of a social movement of Russian people who are able to formulate rational political demands such as new free and fair elections, the registration of all political parties, the independent Central Electoral Commission, the release of political prisoners, free media as well as the abolition of censorship;

G. whereas before presidential elections in Russia which will take place on 4 March 2012 the scenario of manipulation and lack of free and fair elections reappears, as opposition candidates - liberal Yabloko party leader Grigori Yavlinsky and Governor of the region of Irkutsk Dmitry Mezentzev have been denied registration by Central Electoral Commission, after the signatures submitted in their support proved to contain too many invalid entries;

H.  whereas, as a member of the Council of Europe and of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), as well as a signatory of the UN declarations, Russia has committed itself to protecting and promoting human rights, fundamental freedoms, democracy and the rule of law;

I.   whereas both President Medvedev and Prime Minister Putin declared the urgent need to overcome enormous corruption in Russia and made public commitment to strengthening the rule of law in Russia and raising concerns over the independence of Russia's judiciary and legal system;

J.   whereas for the muting of social discontent Russian authorities have taken a number of legislative initiatives of which the declared aim is the democratization of the electoral law and governing party scene legislation; whereas this liberalization is designed by independent observers not to reform the system of power but to calm public dissatisfaction;

K.  whereas Khadzhimurad Kamalov, a prominent journalist from Russia’s violence-plagued North Caucasus region, was shot dead in Dagestan, adding to a rising toll of journalists and human rights activists killed in Russian Federation in recent years;

L.  whereas Russian Federation is a permanent member of United Nations Security Council and has joint responsibility with the other members for cooperation on global issues and keeping stability in the world; whereas there is no common approach to the solution of Syria and Iran crises;

M.  whereas there is progress in EU-Russia cooperation, including the agreement with the Russian government to implement the phase out of Siberian overflight duties and Local Border Traffic in the Region of Kaliningrad Oblast;

N.  whereas it is important for the EU to speak with one voice, show solidarity and display unity in its relations with the Russian Federation;

O.  whereas in the Joint Statement on the Partnership for Modernisation (PfM) the EU and Russia stated that their developing relationship is based on a deep commitment to democratic principles, fundamental and human rights and the rule of law; whereas the PfM should serve as an integral part of a new Partnership and Cooperation Agreement;

1.  Stresses that the future development of EU-Russia relations will be dependent on the efforts to strengthen democracy, the rule of law and respect for fundamental rights in Russia;

2.  Calls on Russia to fulfil its obligations in the field of human rights and rule of law as a member of the Council of Europe and Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and signatory to numerous international treaties, including the European Convention of Human Rights, Universal Declaration of Human Rights, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights;

3.  Expresses its profound disappointment with the conduct of the 4 December Duma elections, marred with frequent violations; strongly condemns mass arrests and beatings by the police during peaceful demonstrations in Moscow, St Petersburg and other Russian cities against Duma elections violations; calls on Russian authorities to permit a peaceful demonstration calling for free and fair presidential elections and respect for the rule of law;

4.  Urges Russia to allow for a competitive, democratic campaign and free and fair presidential elections on 4 March 2012; calls on Russian authorities to review of the decision not to allow opposition candidates Grigori Yavlinsky and Dmitry Mezentzev to take part in presidential elections; calls on Russia for profound and serious reforms towards democratisation;

5.  Reiterates the fact that since taking power in Russia by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, no elections in this country were recognized by Western observers as free and democratic;

6.  Calls on the HR/VP and the Commission for consistent and deep support for civil society activists and representatives of new grassroots social movement against undemocratic practices of the Russian authorities; calls on the EU for constant advocacy towards Russian authorities to meet the OSCE standards of human rights, democracy and rule of law;

7.  Calls on Russian authorities to press ahead with the investigation of the death of journalist Khadzhimurad Kamalov; reiterates its call on the Russian judicial authorities to fair explanation and punishment of those who were involved in the murder of Sergey Magnitsky, Anna Politkovskaya and other representatives of civil society;

8.  Calls for the EU to adopt Foreign Affairs Council (FAC) conclusions on human rights in Russia that would highlight the EU’s concern about the persistently hostile human rights climate, including space for civil society to function without undue restrictions and the safety of human rights defenders; is concerned about rampant impunity for ongoing torture, enforced disappearances and other serious abuses in the North Caucasus and underlines the importance of Russia’s full implementation of European Court of Human Rights judgments as a means to address these abuses;

9.  Calls on Russia to engage in greater involvement in reaching a common position on international level in particular with regards to North Africa and Middle East democratic changes; states that Russia’s veto in the UN Security Council could stop international efforts to find peaceful solution in Syria and calls on Russia to take part in coordinated approach towards Assad's regime;

10. Stresses that the current situation in Iran and the development of its nuclear programme need a decisive and coordinated approach of the international community with the active participation of Russia;

11. Calls on the EU to make the deeper economic and political cooperation with Russia dependant on respecting European values such as human rights, democracy and freedom;

12. Stresses the importance of cooperation with Russia in the field of energy; reiterates, in the same time, that progress in forging closing relations should be coupled with the improvement of rule of law and democratic standards in Russia; calls on the Council and Commission to make sure that the principles of Energy Charter Treaty become an integral part of the new Partnership and Cooperation Agreement; points out that EU should treat diversification of energy resources as its main priority and put all possible effort into finalize projects like Nabucco or AGRI; reminds in this regard that diversification means finding alternative countries outside the EU of oil and gas, and not alternative routes of transporting them from Russia; calls on EU not to apply double standards in relations with Russia such as exemption from part of the Third Energy Package regulations;

13. Welcomes the fact that Georgia and Russia have reached an agreement on outstanding bilateral issues with regard to Russia’s WTO accession, opening the prospect of Russia’s entry to the organization, which will facilitate trade and create a level playing field for business; reminds, however, that to do that Russia has to overcome wide – ranging obstacles, such as industrial subsidies, red tape, foreign investment restrictions and inadequate public health standards;

14. Calls on Russia to actively contribute to the solving of the 'frozen conflicts' in its neighbourhood; reiterates the need for Russia to fully implement the Six-point ceasefire agreement including the respect for Georgia's sovereignty and territorial integrity; supports the Minsk Group in its progress regarding the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh and welcomes Russian recent initiatives to give new momentum to the peace talks; welcomes the restarting of negotiations within the 5+2 format with regards to the Transnistrian conflict and takes note of the first official meeting on 1 December 2011 which hopefully will be the start of a solution to the conflict;

15. Notes that the Partnership for Modernization should include not only economic and technological issues and challenges, but it also must be based on wide cooperation, especially in the areas of rule of law, protection of human rights and development of reliable legal system;

16. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the governments and parliaments of the Member States, the Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the Government and Parliament of the Russian Federation, the Government and Parliament of Georgia, the Council of Europe and the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

Last updated: 15 February 2012Legal notice