Motion for a resolution - B6-0195/2007Motion for a resolution
B6-0195/2007

MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION

2.5.2007

to wind up the debate on statements by the Council and Commission
pursuant to Rule 103(2) of the Rules of Procedure
by Charles Tannock, Ria Oomen-Ruijten and Tunne Kelam
on behalf of the PPE-DE Group
on the EU-Russia Summit to be held in Samara on 18 May 2007

Procedure : 2007/2554(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected :  
B6-0195/2007
Texts tabled :
B6-0195/2007
Debates :
Texts adopted :

B6‑0195/2007

European Parliament resolution on the EU-Russia Summit to be held in Samara on 18 May 2007

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement between the European Communities and their Member States and the Russian Federation, which entered into force in 1997 and expires in 2007,

–  having regard to the objective of the EU and Russia, set out in the joint statement issued following the St Petersburg Summit held 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 of research and education, including cultural aspects,

–  having regard to the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms and its five protocols,

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

–  having regard to the public statement concerning the Chechen Republic of the Russian Federation made on 13 March 2007 by the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment of the Council of Europe,

–  having regard to the Communication from the Commission to the European Council and the European Parliament of 10 January 2007 entitled 'An Energy Policy for Europe' (COM(2007)0001),

–  having regard to its resolution of 23 March 2006 on security of energy supply in the European Union[1],

–  having regard to its previous resolutions on Russia, and in particular

  • -its resolution of 26 April 2007 on the recent repression of demonstrations in Russia[2],
  • -its resolution of 13 December 2006 on the EU-Russia Summit in Helsinki[3],
  • -its resolution of 25 October 2006 on EU-Russia relations following the murder of the Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya[4],
  • -its resolution of 15 June 2006 on the EU-Russia Summit in Sochi[5],
  • -its resolution of 19 January 2006 on Chechnya[6],
  • -its resolution of 15 December 2005 on human rights in Russia and the new NGO legislation[7]
  • -and its resolution of 26 May 2005 on EU-Russia relations[8],

–  having regard to the 19th EU-Russia Summit, to be held in Samara on 18 May 2007,

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

A.  whereas relations between the EU and Russia have been steadily developing over the past few years, leading to deep and comprehensive economic integration and interdependency, which is bound to increase even more in the near future,

B.  whereas EU-Russia relations have enormous economic potential and both parties would benefit from increased economic integration and good-neighbourly relations; whereas cooperation between the EU and Russia is crucial to ensuring stability in all areas of mutual and overlapping interest,

C.  whereas total trade between the EU and Russia amounted to more than EUR 166 billion in 2005; whereas Russia is the EU's third most important trading partner, accounting for 7.3% of the EU's trade, and the EU is Russia's most important trading partner with a 52.9% share of Russia's trade,

D.  whereas total Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Russia in 2006 is estimated at USD 31 billion, compared to USD 14.6 billion in 2005; whereas the EU's Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Russia more than doubled from EUR 2.5 billion in 2002 to EUR 6.4 billion in 2004,

E.  whereas the underlying principles governing economic and trade relations between the EU and the Russian Federation should be reciprocity, transparency, predictability, reliability, non-discrimination and good governance,

F.  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,

G.  whereas on 19 April the Justice and Home Affairs Council approved the conclusion of two agreements on visa facilitation and readmission of illegal immigrants and talks were opened on 22 April on achieving visa-free travel, signalling concrete progress on the common space of freedom, security and justice,

H.  whereas the rapid and full implementation of all four common spaces, with a common economic space, a space of freedom, security and justice, a space of external security and a space of research, education and culture, should be at the heart of the negotiations on the new Partnership and Cooperation Agreement,

I.  whereas Russia has signed and ratified the Kyoto Protocol,

J.  whereas the conclusion of a new Partnership and Cooperation Agreement between the EU and the Russian Federation is of the utmost importance for their future cooperation, in particular with regard to the further development of economic relations, to the further enhancement of security and stability in Europe and to the further strengthening of respect for human rights, democracy and the rule of law as the basis of this cooperation,

K.  whereas the Russian Federation is a member of the Council of Europe and thus has committed itself to the objectives of the Council, which are to promote democracy and consolidate democratic stability in Europe,

L.  whereas in recent years democracy has been continuing to deteriorate in Russia, in particular owing to increased government control over major TV stations and most radio stations, the spread of self-censorship among the print media, the closure of independent media, restrictions on the right to organise public demonstrations, a worsening climate for NGOs, harassment of human rights activists, killings of prominent opponents of the Russian Government and increased political control of the judiciary, as exemplified by the Yukos case and the trials of Mr Khodorkovsky and Mr Lebedev, while serious human rights violations in the form of murder, enforced disappearance, torture, hostage-taking and arbitrary detention are still occurring in the Chechen Republic,

M.  whereas so far the EU-Russia human rights consultations have not brought about any substantial progress in this field, which should be a priority in EU-Russia relations,

N.  whereas the last EU-Russia Summit of 24 November 2006 in Helsinki was intended to mark the start of a new phase in EU-Russia relations and, in particular, to launch negotiations on a new framework agreement between the EU and Russia to replace the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement which expires in 2007,

O.  whereas Poland has blocked the start of the negotiations on the new framework agreement, making the start of the negotiations conditional upon Moscow lifting a ban on Polish meat imports introduced in 2005 and extended in 2006,

P.  whereas the talks on 21 April between Markos Kyprianou, EU health commissioner, and Alexei Gordeyev, Russian agriculture minister, to improve relations between Russia and the EU by lifting the ban ended in deadlock, casting a shadow over the EU-Russia summit to be held in Samara on 18 May,

Q.  whereas, according to trade commissioner Peter Mandelson, EU-Russia relations have today reached 'a level of misunderstanding or even mistrust we have not seen since the end of the cold war', harming efforts to build closer links between the two sides,

R.  whereas, following recent events in Estonia, the normal functioning of the Estonian embassy in Moscow has been blocked and several of its employees have been physically attacked by demonstrators surrounding the embassy and burning the Estonian flag,

S.  whereas it is important that the EU speaks with one voice, shows solidarity and displays unity in its relations with the Russian Federation,

1.  Reconfirms its conviction that Russia remains an important partner for pragmatic cooperation with which the EU shares not only economic and trade interests but also the objective of cooperating closely in the international arena as well as in the common neighbourhood;

2.  Stresses the importance of strengthening unity and solidarity among the EU Member States in their relations with Russia; welcomes, therefore, the common line taken by the EU in the negotiations with Moscow on the lifting of Russia's ban on Polish meat exports;

3.  Regrets the breakdown of these negotiations and the subsequent failure to launch negotiations on a new framework agreement between the EU and Russia and encourages the German Presidency to continue to work to enable the negotiating mandate for a new agreement to be adopted as soon as possible and to start negotiations without further delay, subject to the condition that Russia stops its practice of resorting to economic pressure against EU Member States;

4.  Calls on Russia to fully respect its obligations under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations by guaranteeing protection and normal functioning of foreign embassies;

5.  Welcomes the open discussions on democracy and human rights at the last EU-Russia Summit on 24 November 2006 in Helsinki; emphasises, however, that the current situation in Russia gives rise to concern about respect for human rights, democracy and the rule of law; regrets therefore that the EU-Russia human rights dialogue has brought about no substantial progress in this field and calls on the Russian Government to contribute to the intensification of these consultations as an essential part of the EU-Russia partnership;

6.  Reiterates its view that a robust defence of human rights and democratic values should be a core principle of any EU engagement with Russia; urges the Commission to ensure that these values will not have a subsidiary status in the EU-Russia negotiating package and that any financial assistance granted to Russia is linked to the strengthening of democratic standards in that country;

7.  Expresses its deep concern at the continuing reports from Russian and international human rights organisations about the use of torture and inhumane and degrading acts in prisons, police stations and secret detention centres in Chechnya; strongly condemns such practices and calls on the Russian authorities to ensure that the rights guaranteed by the European Convention on Human Rights, to which Russia is a signatory, are fully respected in the Chechen Republic and that all those who violate those rights are brought to justice;

8.  Emphasises the need to work together with Russia as a necessary and important partner to ensure peace, stability and security and fight international terrorism and violent extremism, as well as address other security issues such as environmental and nuclear hazards, drugs, trafficking in arms and human beings and cross-border organised crime in the European neighbourhood;

9.  Calls on the Commission and the Council to pursue joint initiatives with the Russian Government to strengthen security and stability in the common neighbourhood, in particular by means of joint crisis management in the Ukraine and Belarus and joint efforts to finally resolve the frozen conflicts in Nagorno Karabakh as well as in Moldova and Georgia by guaranteeing the full territorial integrity of these states; calls on the EU and Russia as a member of the UN Security Council to assume their responsibility for the Iranian nuclear issue and as members of the Quartet for the resolution of the Middle East conflict and to promote efforts to hold an international peace conference on a regional Middle East peace; calls further on Russia as a member of the Contact Group and the UN Security Council to cooperate in finding a lasting solution to the Kosovo question and as a member of the Six Party Talks to help find a solution to nuclear proliferation in North Korea;

10.  Emphasises the importance of Russia's accession to the WTO and is convinced that WTO membership will send an important signal to foreign investors, drive economic growth in Russia and enhance trade exchanges with the EU; believes that WTO accession should lead to deeper economic integration between the EU and Russia;

11.  Reiterates furthermore the importance of setting up the Common Economic Space (CES) and further developing the objectives agreed upon in the CES Road Map, especially as regards the creation of an open and integrated market between the EU and Russia;

12.  Stresses the importance of improving the investment climate in Russia, which can only be achieved by promoting and facilitating non-discriminatory and transparent business conditions, less bureaucracy and two-way investments; is concerned about the lack of predictability in the application of rules by authorities;

13.  Welcomes the agreement between Russian Energy Minister Viktor Khristenko and Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs on restructuring the EU-Russia Energy Dialogue thematic groups; notes that the new groups will address such issues as (i) energy strategies, forecasts and scenarios, (ii) market developments and (iii) energy as well as talks on the setting-up of an early warning mechanism for energy crises;

14.  Emphasises the importance of the enhanced dialogue with Russia, as the EU's most important supplier, on energy issues with a view to ensuring both security of supply and security of demand in the context of increased energy interdependency; stresses that this cooperation has to be based on the principles laid down in the Energy Charter Treaty and in particular in the Transit Protocol annexed to it and on reciprocity concerning investment, market and infrastructure access;

15.  Advocates the exchange of information on advanced energy technologies and encourages contacts between EU and Russian energy sector actors, as well the efforts necessary to improve energy efficiency and to develop non-CO2-emitting technologies, which present significant opportunities for cooperation, particularly industrial cooperation, with the exchange of best practices and technologies between Russian and EU companies; calls upon Russia and the EU Member States to reach the prescribed targets of the Kyoto Protocol;

16.  Emphasises the need for the EU to act with unity and determination in its efforts to strengthen relations with Russia; welcomes the intention of the German Presidency to continue to assign high priority to this important issue;

17.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Governments and Parliaments of the Member States and of the Russian Federation and the Council of Europe.