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to wind up the debate on statements by the Council and Commission
pursuant to Rule 103(2) of the Rules of Procedure
by Konrad Szymański, Michał Tomasz Kamiński, Adam Jerzy Bielan, Inese Vaidere, Ģirts Valdis Kristovskis, Hanna Foltyn-Kubicka, Wojciech Roszkowski and Marek Aleksander Czarnecki
on behalf of the UEN Group
on the EU-Russia Summit

Proċedura : 2006/2658(RSP)
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European Parliament resolution on the EU-Russia Summit

The European Parliament,

– having regard to the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement between the European Communities, their Member States and the Russian Federation, which came into force on 1 December 1997,

– having regard to the objective of the EU and Russia, set out in the joint statement issued after the St Petersburg Summit on 31 May 2003, to set up a common economic space, a common space of freedom, security and justice, a common space of cooperation in the field of external security and a common space on research and education, including cultural aspects,

– having regard to the EU-Russia Human Rights Dialogue,

– having regard to its resolution of 26 May 2005 on EU-Russia relations,

– having regard to its resolution of 23 March 2006 on security of energy supply in the European Union,

– having regard to its resolution of 25 October 2006 on EU-Russia relations following the murder of the Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya,

– having regard to the EU-Russia Summit which took place in Helsinki on 24 November 2006,

– having regard to Rule 103(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A. whereas good-neighbourly relations and cooperation between the EU and Russia are important for stability, security and economic prosperity across the whole of the European continent,

B. whereas long-term cooperation between the EU and Russia must be based on common values encompassing human rights, the market economy, the rule of law and democracy,

C. whereas Russia has declared its full participation in the UN, the G8 and the Council of Europe to be the cornerstone of its foreign policy,

D. whereas security of energy supply is one of the biggest challenges for Europe and one of the major fields of cooperation with Russia, and whereas the EU imports approximately a quarter of its gas and oil from Russia and is the most reliable consumer of Russian exports,

E. whereas good relations between Russia, its neighbours and the EU demand respect for those countries’ independence and right to choose the direction of their development and their political and economic partners, and to enjoy full respect for their territorial integrity,

F. whereas the Russian Government does not respect the principles of free trade, imposing as it does on neighbouring countries, including EU Member States, long-term import bans without justification,

G. whereas the Russian authorities have announced that Russia may impose an embargo on agricultural products from the European Union after the accession of Bulgaria and Romania,

H. whereas at the beginning of this year the Russian Federation imposed a ban on imports of agricultural products (wine, fruit and vegetables) from Moldova and Georgia, which is particularly harmful to the economic development of both countries,

I. whereas the Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya was shot in Moscow on 7 October and, according to investigators, the murder was linked to her reporting of brutal murders committed by Russian troops in Chechnya,

J. whereas political opponent Alexander Litvinenko died on 23 November in London after being poisoned and, according to his death-bed letter, the Russian authorities were alleged to be involved in his death,

1. Acknowledges the importance of Russia as a strategic partner for cooperation, and reaffirms its commitment to developing the four Common Spaces and to making further progress of the EU-Russia dialogues based on common goals and values;

2. Welcomes the signing of the protocol marking agreement on the progressive abolition of unjustified Siberian overflight charges; however, despite the fact that this is a significant step forward, is of the opinion that this cannot be regarded as a notable achievement, as the 2013 deadline is too far in the future and it will still cause additional illegal costs for European airlines;

3. Notes that the current Partnership and Cooperation Agreement between the EU and Russia will expire at the end of 2007; reiterates its call on Russia to follow the objectives set out in the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement and in the four Common Spaces, where the pre-eminence of democracy, human rights and political freedom are declared; notes that Russia still needs to make progress towards becoming a more democratic country and fully respecting human rights;

4. Regrets that the EU-Russia negotiations on a new Partnership and Cooperation Agreement were not able to start, as planned, at this summit, which took place on 24 November 2006; consider that these talks should be conducted with respect for both sides;

5. Is alarmed by the attempts made by the Russian authorities, using vigorous economic and trade pressure on some Member States, to break the unity of the EU; is worried, moreover, by Russia’s strategy of applying higher import standards only to countries it wishes to influence; calls on the Member States and the Commission to show their solidarity and unanimity in further negotiations and relations with Russia;

6. Asks the Commission and the Council to ensure that any financial assistance granted to Russia is linked to the development of democratic standards in that country;

7. Underlines that any further progress in creating the Common Spaces must be linked to progress in the human rights dialogue between the EU and Russia; stresses that additional elements and conditions designed to strengthen the human rights clause should be included in the new Partnership and Cooperation Agreement;

8. Stresses that substantial progress in cooperation in the field of energy requires the Russian authorities to accept the rules of the Energy Charter Treaty, and that no progress in opening up the European market to Russian companies can be made if European companies are not granted greater access to Russian resources and Russia’s energy supply transportation network;

9. Takes the view that Poland vetoed the mandate for negotiations on the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement in order to draw the Community’s attention to the long-term discriminatory import ban on Polish meat; highlights that this sanction, as with the import bans imposed on other EU Member States and countries neighbouring on Russia, was based on fake and manipulated veterinary documents, since, according to investigations carried out by EU departments, Polish meat meets EU standards; urges the Commission and the Council to take effective action, not excluding retaliatory steps, if Russia still refuses to end this embargo;

10. Is worried by declarations by the Russian authorities to the effect that they will impose restrictions on EU agricultural products after the accession of Bulgaria and Romania;

11. Notes that all the significant economic reforms started in Russia have serious deficiencies and that the planned structural reforms – in health, education, the gas sector and the dominant State-owned banks, for example – have not been pushed further;

12. Is concerned by the strong determination of the government to increase its shareholdings in firms judged to be ‘of strategic importance’, which raises the fundamental question of the role of the State in a market economy and the privatisation process in Russia, where the influential role in the economy of a powerful State oligarchy is steadily increasing;

13. Considers that the recent reversal of the privatisation process in the economy poses serious problems for the future of the Four Common Spaces;

14. Points out that progress on signing and ratifying the outstanding border agreements between Estonia and Russia and Latvia and Russia remains a high priority for EU-Russia relations, and that the issue should be dealt with in a constructive and fair manner acceptable to all sides; underlines, in addition, Parliament’s position, as expressed in its resolution of 26 May 2005, that the ratification of the border agreement with Estonia and the signing and ratification of the border agreement with Latvia must be prerequisites for the signing of the EU-Russia visa facilitation agreement;

15. Is concerned at the fact that the term ‘freedom of speech’ is violated in Russia, and at the systematic intimidation, harassments and murder in ‘unexplained circumstances’ of independent journalists and other persons critical of the government; draws attention to the fact that the resulting climate of impunity in which killers seem not to fear the law is seriously damaging Russia’s reputation; strongly underlines that an independent judiciary is the cornerstone of democracy; notes that these developments affect both the situation of the Russian people and Russia’s foreign relations and that until they are reversed, the development of the EU-Russia partnership will be more difficult;

16. Encourages Russia to refrain from unjustified imperial ambitions; calls on Russia to withdraw its support for separatist forces in Georgia and to engage constructively in peaceful resolution of the conflicts, particularly by establishing normal relations with Georgia with full respect for Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity; not least by removing double standards for business and putting an end to persecutions based on nationality, as well as by lifting the unjustified ban on sensitive exports from Georgia to Russia;

17. Reiterates that the current peace-keeping forces in South Ossetia have failed to accomplish their mandate and that the replacement of CIS military forces by the international peacekeeping mission is therefore essential to achieving stability in the conflict zone;

18. In this regard, expresses serious concerns at the measures implemented by Russia against Georgia which are having huge economic, political and humanitarian consequences, therefore calls on Russian authorities to lift the unjustified ban on sensitive exports from Georgia to Russia as well as to stop the ongoing repressions carried out against ethnic Georgians living in Russia;

19. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission and the Governments and Parliaments of the Member States and Russia.