Motion for a resolution - B6-0235/2008Motion for a resolution
B6-0235/2008

    MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION

    15.5.2008

    to wind up the debate on statements by the Council and Commission
    pursuant to Rule 103(2) of the Rules of Procedure
    by Adam Bielan, Konrad Szymański, Inese Vaidere, Hanna Foltyn-Kubicka, Roberts Zīle, Ryszard Czarnecki and Ģirts Valdis Kristovskis,
    on behalf of the UEN Group
    on the EU-Russia Summit

    Procedure : 2008/2542(RSP)
    Document stages in plenary
    Document selected :  
    B6-0235/2008
    Texts tabled :
    B6-0235/2008
    Texts adopted :

    B6‑0235/2008

    European Parliament resolution on the EU-Russia Summit

    The European Parliament,

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

    –  having regard to the negotiations on a new Partnership and Cooperation Agreement between the European Union and Russia,

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

    –  having regard to the EU-Russia consultation on human rights,

    –  having regard to the many credible reports by Russian and international NGOs on the continuing violations of human rights in Chechnya,

    –  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,

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

    • -its resolution of 23 May 2007 on Estonia,
    • -its resolution of 26 April 2007 on Russia,
    • -its resolution of 13 December 2006 on the EU-Russia Summit in Helsinki on 24 November 2006,
    • -its resolution of 25 October 2006 on EU-Russia relations following the murder of the Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya,
    • -its resolution of 15 June 2006 on the EU-Russia Summit held in Sochi on 25 May 2006,
    • -its resolution of 19 January 2006 on Chechnya after the elections and civil society in Russia,
    • -its resolution of 15 December 2005 on human rights in Russia and the new NGO legislation,
    • -and its report of 26 May 2005 on EU-Russia relations,

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

    A.  whereas the EU has repeatedly underlined its commitment to achieving a strategic partnership with Russia based on democratic values,

    B.  whereas enhanced cooperation and good-neighbourly relations between the EU and Russia are of key importance to the stability, security and prosperity of the whole of Europe; whereas the mutual relations between the EU and Russia should be based on political, economic and energy cooperation with respect for the rule of law, for democratic principles and procedures and for basic human rights,

    C.  whereas the Russian Federation is a member of the Council of Europe and thus has committed itself to that body’s shared values, objectives and commitments, as laid down in its Statute and conventions, and in particular to promoting democracy and consolidating democratic stability in Europe,

    D.  whereas democracy has been weakened in Russia, in particular by the bringing of all major TV stations and most radio stations under government control, the spread of self-censorship in the print media, the new restrictions on the right to organise public demonstrations and the worsening climate for NGOs,

    E.  whereas the situation in the Georgian regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia is deteriorating as a result of the steps recently taken by the Russian Federation,

    F.  whereas on 16 April Russian President Vladimir Putin instructed the Russian Government to enter into direct cooperation with the representatives of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali region (South Ossetia), and whereas this decision undermines the internationally recognised sovereignty of Georgia,

    G.  whereas the Russian Federation unilaterally increased the number of the peacekeepers in Abkhazia, Georgia, without seeking the prior approval and consent of the Georgian Government,

    H.  whereas security of energy supply is one of the biggest challenges for Europe and one of the major fields of cooperation with Russia,

    I   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 whom 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; welcomes the stated commitment by the newly elected President of Russia to guarantee the rule of law and democracy, and expresses the hope that Mr Medvedev will give priority to the deepening of relations with the European Union;

    2.  Stresses the importance of unity and solidarity among EU Member States in their relations with Russia and underlines that EU common policy and Member States’ bilateral relations with Russia have to be guided by jointly agreed principles;

    3.  Emphasises once again that the current situation in Russia remains a matter of serious concern as regards respect for human rights, democracy, freedom of expression, the situation of ethnic minorities, the independence of NGOs and the rights of civil society and individuals; regrets therefore that the EU-Russia human rights dialogue has brought about no progress in these areas and calls on the Russian Government to contribute to the intensification of these consultations as an essential part of the EU-Russia partnership;

    4  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 are upheld;

    5.  Calls on the newly elected Russian President to review the treatment of imprisoned public figures (among them Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Platon Lebedev) whose imprisonment has been assessed by most observers as having been politically motivated; underlines that this would strengthen the credibility of the Russian authorities and enhance an even closer partnership between the Russian Federation and the European Union;

    6.   Invites Russia to remember the legal obligations it undertook on becoming a member of the Council of Europe in 1996 and to fulfil those;

    7.  Calls on Russia to withdraw its support for separatist forces in Georgia and to engage constructively in the peaceful resolution of the conflicts, particularly by reiterating its commitment to Georgia’s territorial integrity and sovereignty and by establishing normal relations with Georgia with full respect for Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity;

    8.  Express its deep concern over the decision of the Russian Federation to legalise bilateral links with the Georgian regions – Abkhazia and Tskhinvali region (South Ossetia);

    9.   Strongly condemns the creeping annexation of Georgia’s territory by inter alia the military build-up in Abkhazia and the fact that the Russian Federation unilaterally increased the number of its so-called ‘peacekeepers’ in Abkhazia, Georgia; urges the Russian Federation to suspend and reverse the military build-up of the separatist regimes and to stop the military aggression against Georgia;

    10.  Invites the EU to initiate the transformation of the Russian peacekeeping operations in Georgia into an international and civilian operation;

    11.  Considers that the current policy and actions of the Russian Federation towards Georgia undermine the internationally recognised sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia and demonstrates that Russia can not be viewed as a neutral and impartial peace facilitator in the conflict regions;

    12.  Calls on the EU to send a very clear signal to Russia that there will be a political cost to relations between Russia and the EU if Russia continues to flout international law in Georgia;

    13.  Emphasises the need for the EU to work together with Russia as an essential and important partner in ensuring peace, stability and security and in fighting international terrorism and violent extremism, as well as in addressing 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;

    14.  Expresses its concern that the Russian state-controlled media often engages in defamatory propaganda campaigns against some Member States in an effort to undermine the unity and solidarity of the EU Member States;

    15.  Urges Russia to cease its propaganda methods and policy of manipulating its compatriots abroad in order to bring about the setting up of ‘two-community states’ in various countries, for example in Latvia and Estonia, being former republics of the USSR; deplores Russia’s renewed expansion in information space in the former territory of the USSR in an endeavour to re-establish ‘a virtual USSR’;

    16.  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, reduced bureaucracy and two-way investments; is concerned about the lack of predictability in the application of rules by authorities;

    17.  Emphasises the importance of the enhanced dialogue with Russia on energy issues with a view to ensuring both the security of supply and the 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 and on reciprocity concerning investment, market and infrastructure access; in this respect regrets the fact that the Russian Federation has not yet signed the Charter; calls on the Commission to take the needed diplomatic initiative and calls for the EU to address Russia with one voice on these sensitive matters;

    18.  Expresses its deep concern over an accelerating rate of attacks on ethnic, racial and religious minorities in Russia, condemns Russian authorities which denied or cancelled visas for some Protestant clergy and a number of Roman Catholic priests;

    19.  Calls on the new Russian President and the Government to create, together with the European Union, the necessary conditions for a rapid start to negotiations on a new Partnership and Cooperation Agreement between the EU and Russia; stresses once more, in this respect, that the rule of law, democracy and human rights must be an important part of any future agreement with the Russian Federation;

    20.  Promotes 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 offer significant opportunities for cooperation, particularly industrial cooperation, with the exchange of best practice and technology between Russian and EU companies;

    21.  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.