Motion for a resolution - B7-0293/2010Motion for a resolution

MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on the conclusions of the EU-Russia Summit in Rostov-on-Don of 31 May and 1 June 2010


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

Heidi Hautala, Werner Schulz, Bart Staes, on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group

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European Parliament resolution on the conclusions of the EU-Russia Summit in Rostov‑on-Don of 31 May and 1 June 2010

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to its previous resolutions on the Russian Federation, in particular the one of 17 September 2009[1],

–   having regard to its resolution on external aspects of energy security adopted on 17 September 2009[2],

–   having regard to its resolution on the EU-Russia summit in Stockholm of November 2009[3],

–   having regard to the EU-Russia Partnership and Cooperation Agreement, which entered into force in 1997 and expired at the end of 2007,

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

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

A. whereas the relations between the EU and Russia are stagnating in spite of the growing trade and economic interdependence due to misunderstanding and mistrust on fundamental political and economic issues that have prevented the parties from building a genuine strategic partnership,

B.  whereas little substantive progress has been achieved as regards the negotiations of the new agreement due to replace the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA) that expired in 2007,

C. whereas many are the problems that are still causing unforeseen delays as regards the road maps for the implementation of the Four Common Spaces,

D. whereas energy continues to play a central and strategic role in EU-Russia relations; whereas the decision by Russia to withdraw its signature from the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT) further complicates these relations, slows down negotiations of the new PCA and affects in a negative way the energy dialogue and its future potential developments,

E.  whereas the EU and Russia adopted on 1st of June at the end of their summit a joint declaration on the priorities of the new Partnership for Modernisation aimed at modernising the economies and the societies of both parties; whereas a very large part of these priorities are of an economic, trade and regulatory nature; whereas the coordinators of both sides have been entrusted with the task of drawing up an action plan with a view to implementing the first concrete projects,

F.  whereas in spite of a more positive approach by the Russian authorities freedoms of expression, association and assembly in Russia are still threatened and the initiatives and activities of human rights defenders, independent civil society organizations, political opponents, independent media and ordinary citizens are often restricted or hindered and are of particular concern in the North Caucasus,

G. whereas last 31 May a few thousands protesters turned out in about 40 cities across Russia in support of article 31 of the constitution that guarantees the freedom of assembly; whereas during the demonstration in Moscow with an unusually heavy police presence about 180 demonstrators were detained, partly beaten up and later released,

H. whereas Sergei Magnitsky, a 37-year old Russian anti-corruption lawyer who represented the Hermitage Fund, testified about a $230 million corruption by Russian Interior Ministry officers and in retribution those Interior Ministry officers arrested him on false charges a month later and detained him without trial for 12 months; whereas after his refusal to withdraw his testimony he was denied live-saving medical care and deprived of sleep, food, water and as a result died in custody on 16 November 2009,

I.   whereas in April 2010 the Moscow Helsinki Group has called for a murder investigation to be opened against five Russian Interior Ministry officers and the U.S. Helsinki Commission published a list of 60 Russian officials involved in the corruption exposed by Sergei Magnitsky, his unlawful arrest, retaliatory persecution, torture and death in custody and demanded permanent U.S. visa sanctions against those officials, their dependents and family members,

J.   whereas energy is a key instrument of Russian foreign policy; whereas the EU’s strong dependency on fossil fuels undermines the development of a balanced, coherent and value-driven European approach vis-à-vis Russia; whereas it is of the utmost importance for the EU to speak with one voice and show strong internal solidarity,

K. whereas the recent signing of the new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (Start) between the Russian Federation and the US and the rapprochement on non proliferation and the Iran issues pave the way for a new climate and a strengthened dialogue with Russia on security concerns in Europe and in the Middle East,

L.  whereas peace and stability in the common neighbouring countries are in the interest of both Russia and the EU; whereas an open and frank dialogue should develop on the crises in these countries with regard, in particular, to the frozen conflicts and the decision by Russia to press ahead with the independence and the provision of security arrangements to Abkhazia and South Ossetia,

M. whereas, as a member of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe and the Council of Europe, the Russian Federation is committed to respecting the freedom of speech and of assembly,

1.  Welcomes the open and constructive attitude showed by both sides at the summit in Rostov-on-Don that allowed for the launch of the Partnership for Modernisation and hopes that this renewed cooperation can improve the state of relations and turn the current partnership of a pragmatic nature into a genuine value-based one that can overcome the present diverging views on some core issues;

2.  Takes the view that the concept of modernisation cannot be limited to economic cooperation and technological innovation but must go along with an ambitious process of domestic reforms that include the consolidation of democratic institutions and of a reliable legal system, the respect of the rule of law and the unhindered development of a genuine civil society;

3.  Looks forward to the action plan for the implementation of the first projects that the coordinators will start to draft and stresses, in this regard, that the promotion of a sustainable low carbon economy, the improvement of energy efficiency and the combating of climate change must be fundamental elements of this plan; calls on the Commission to duly inform the European Parliament on the drafting of this plan;

4.  Regrets that the nine rounds of talks of the new PCA have not produced the expected results and calls on the parties to make all efforts in order to facilitate the negotiations on a new and far-reaching framework agreement based on genuinely shared common values and interests; calls on the Russian authorities to clarify Russia’s position as regards the foreseen customs union with Belarus and Kazakhstan which could represent an obstacle to the deepening of trade and economic relations with the EU;

5.  Points out that the road map for the implementation of the Four Common Spaces should be regarded as a key element for the negotiations and asks, in this regard, the Commission to present an evaluation of the present PCA in order to verify whether the potential of this agreement has been fully exploited and what needs to be done in order to avoid the mistakes and the shortfalls of the past; calls for an overhaul of the large number of joint committees, working groups and consultation mechanisms between the two sides in order to streamline their work and make it more effective;

6.  Stresses once more that democracy and human rights must be at the core of any future agreement with the Russian Federation, with regard, in particular, to the definition and inclusion of an effective and operational human rights clause and that the quality and the depth of future relations depend on the respect and the support for such values;

7.  Welcomes the ratification by Russia of Protocol 14 of the European Convention of Human Rights and the confirmation of the moratorium of the death penalty; demands in case of convictions by the European Court on Human Rights against the Russian Federation the resumption of investigations by the Russian authorities and the review of the legal systems in order to avoid further violations of international law;

8.  Takes note of the launch of the evaluation of EU-Russia Human Rights consultation that should be concluded by the end of June and reiterates its call for the stepping-up of this consultation so as to make it more effective and result-oriented with the participation of Russian ministries of Justice and the Interior and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Brussels and Moscow and with the full involvement of the European Parliament at all levels;

9.  Takes the view that the briefings organised by the Commission with the civil society actors prior to the official consultation on Human Rights are an important tool that should be duly reinforced, hosted also in Russia and taken into account by the Russian authorities with a view to transforming it into a fully fledged legal seminar involving academics, representatives of the civil society and officials of both sides;

10. Calls on the Russian authorities to put an end to the ongoing and widespread impunity for violence against human rights defenders and, in particular, to make it their priority to stop the climate of terror and lawlessness in the North Caucasus and to protect and guarantee their physical integrity in conformity with relevant international and regional human rights instruments; calls in particular on the Russian authorities to adopt preventive protection measures as regards human rights defenders such as starting investigation as soon as threats faced by them are known by the prosecutor and the judicial system;

11. Supports the call of the Human Rights Commissioner of Russia Vladimir Lukin to start an investigation into the heavy police actions in connection to the 31 May protests;

12. Urges the Russian judicial authorities to press ahead with the investigation about the death of Sergey Magnitsky; calls for the EU entry ban for the 60 Russian officials involved in this case and request the EU law enforcement agencies to cooperate in order to freeze bank accounts and other assets of these Russian officials in all EU Member Countries;

13. Deplores the restriction of further fundamental and constitutional rights as regards freedom of religion whereas some religious minorities are not allowed to freely practice their religions;

14. Underlines that the fight against terrorism must not lead to further restriction of fundamental civil rights; is in this regard deeply concerned about the possibly future misuse of a draft amendment bill to the law on the FSB empowering the FSB to undertake ‘preventive measures’ against individuals suspected of involvement in extremist activity;

15. Welcomes the decision to move to an operational and practical stage as regards the dialogue on visa liberalisation but points out that that steps forward in this field will depend on concrete progress on the respect of the rule of law and the implementation of basic human rights standards;

16. Calls, in this regard, on the Russian authorities to combat arbitrariness and not to use the judiciary as a political tool; calls, in particular, for the improvement of the treatment of imprisoned personalities Michail Khodorkovski and Platon Lebedev, to guarantee these prisoners fair and just trials and to stop further politically motivated persecution;

17. Regrets the lack of a genuine common European energy security policy that leads an uncoordinated EU approach towards Russia; points out that the signing of some bilateral energy agreements by Member States may undermine the interests and put into question the strategic priority projects of the EU as a whole and of other Member States; points out, in this regard, that the EU strong energy dependence on the Russian Federation deeply undermines the coherence, the assertiveness and the sustainability of its common foreign policy;

18. Stresses that the deepening of relations between Eastern neighbouring countries and the EU is in no way an alternative to sound and good-neighbourly relations of these countries with Moscow and calls, in this regard, on Russia to adopt a positive and constructive approach towards the Eastern Partnership;

19. Regrets the lack of any progress as the regards the frozen conflicts; deplores, in this regard, the decision announced by the FSB Border Directorate to build a modern border infrastructure and erect a gapless line of barriers between South Ossetia and Georgia aimed at further splitting and isolating the Georgian province from Tbilisi; calls on the Russian authorities to respect in full the ‘six-point agreement’ concluded on 12 August 2008 allowing the EU Monitoring Mission (EUMM Georgia) to have unhindered access to the two breakaway territories;

20. Takes note of the Merkel-Medvedev proposal to set up an EU-Russia security committee in order to achieve more progress on the common security issues; is of the view that such a high level initiative could be the platform to clarify current security proposals and examine further cooperation together with the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation;

21. Welcomes the initiative of several German companies in Russia to refrain from corruption and calls on the Russian authorities to support the initiative by enhanced measures against corruption at national level in order to provide a better environment for foreign investments;

22. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission and the Member States, the Government and the Parliament of the Russian Federation and the Council of Europe.