Procedure : 2021/2642(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B9-0235/2021

Texts tabled :


Debates :

PV 28/04/2021 - 10
CRE 28/04/2021 - 10

Votes :

PV 29/04/2021 - 19

Texts adopted :

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<TitreSuite>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</TitreSuite>

<TitreRecueil>pursuant to Rule 132(2) of the Rules of Procedure</TitreRecueil>

<Titre>on Russia, the case of Alexei Navalny, military build-up on Ukraine’s border and Russian attacks in the Czech Republic</Titre>


<RepeatBlock-By><Depute>Mick Wallace</Depute>

<Commission>{The Left}on behalf of The Left Group</Commission>



European Parliament resolution on Russia, the case of Alexei Navalny, military build-up on Ukraine’s border and Russian attacks in the Czech Republic


The European Parliament,

 having regard to Rule 132(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A. whereas political and military tensions between Ukraine, the US, NATO, the EU and Russia have been growing to an extremely dangerous level, representing the most severe security crises in Europe; whereas there is an urgent need for military de-escalation and political dialogue;

B. whereas after six years of an uneasy and at times violent truce, the danger of a new war between Ukraine and Russia is looming; whereas the ceasefire between the Ukrainian army and breakaway territories which are supported by Russia has effectively broken down; whereas both sides accuse each other of provocations and regularly exchange fire, with the casualties mounting among both military personnel and civilians; whereas any deployment or exercise close to the borders of a belligerent adds to the tensions, whether on the ground in the air, or restriction or freedom of navigation operations on the seas; whereas the negotiations about the solution to of the conflict in East Ukraine within the Normandy format are in a stalemate; whereas both Russia and Ukraine have seen a severe roll-back in the areas of democracy and rule of law; whereas the internal political problems in both Ukraine and Russia seem to force their leaders towards the internationally very common tactic of reorienting the public debate towards alleged foreign threats;

C. whereas Russia, deeming its exercises completed, announced on Thursday 22 April 2021 that it would begin the withdrawal of its troops massed near the Ukrainian border; whereas the soldiers deployed in Crimea are expected to leave by 1 May 2021;

D. whereas arms exports and military advisory support to the conflicting sides by adverse third actors have made possible and fuelled the conflict in the East of Ukraine;

E. whereas NATO implemented the 2016 Warsaw Summit decisions to establish NATO’s forward presence at the borders of Russia in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland, and developed a forward presence in the Black Sea region; whereas NATO has been engaging Ukraine in diverse military cooperation programmes; whereas the Biden administration has announced a new USD 125 million package within the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative that includes training, equipment, and advisory activities; whereas the Ukrainian President has intensified his efforts to achieve Ukrainian NATO and EU membership, including by presenting a new security strategy, which reiterates the aspiration to join NATO and puts the main focus on countering Russia;

F. whereas Russia’s relations with the EU and many of its Member States are worse than they have ever been; whereas since 2014, the U.S., the EU and other western countries have rolled out several waves of sanctions resulting in the adoption of counter-sanctions by the Russian side; whereas this sanctions spiral did not achieve its goal of leading to policy changes;

G. whereas the total lack of political dialogue has deepened the mutual mistrust and misunderstandings; whereas hostile rhetoric has become the norm in relations between the Russia, the US and the EU; whereas Russia, US and NATO see each other as the main enemy;

H. whereas according to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) Alexei Navalny was the victim of an attack with a chemical nerve-agent of the ‘Novichok’ group; whereas he was sentenced to two and half years in jail, and is in extremely poor health; whereas according to UN statements, Mr Navalny is being kept in conditions that could amount to torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment in a facility that reportedly does not meet international standards; whereas Mr Navalny’s health had reportedly been deteriorating since he was imprisoned, and he began a hunger strike three weeks ago to protest his lack of medical treatment; whereas he has since received adequate private medical care and has resumed eating;

I. whereas the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) has stated that seven arrests of Mr Navalny from 2012 to 2014 violated his rights, and appeared to be part of a broader effort ‘to bring the opposition under control’; whereas the ECtHR called on Russia to extend greater legal rights to people protesting peacefully;

J. whereas Mr Navalny is one of the many faces of citizens protesting against corruption and other problems in the country; whereas mobilisations of citizens have multiplied; whereas many democratic rights and civic freedoms guaranteed by the Russian constitution are not ensured; whereas many critical citizens have been harassed, threatened or jailed;

K. whereas on 16 April the Moscow Prosecutor’s Office filed a claim against a number of associations, such as the Anti-Corruption Foundation, the Foundation for the Protection of Citizen’s Rights (both identified as foreign agents in the Russian Federation) and Navalny’s regional headquarters, which might lead to them being declared extremists; whereas under Russian law, membership in or funding of an ‘extremist’ organisation is punishable by up to 10 years in prison;

1. Underlines that there is no military solution to the conflict in the eastern regions of Ukraine, and that the threat of use of force is prohibited by the UN Charter; welcomes Russia’s decision to end the military build-up at the Ukrainian border, and to withdraw its troops;

2. Deeply regrets the failure to find political solutions for the problems in relations between Russia and Ukraine; urgently calls on all parties working together in the Normandy format, and all other international actors, to redouble their efforts to find a solution, and to start a result-oriented dialogue and negotiations to end the war in Ukraine; strongly supports the Minsk process, and urges the parties to adhere to the agreements already reached, and to develop these agreements in new negotiations into a transparent and clear roadmap with concrete benchmarks to be fulfilled by all negotiating parties; calls for an arms embargo against all parties in the conflict, and for the withdrawal of all foreign military advisors and military personnel from all areas of Ukraine;

3. Expresses its utmost concern at the escalation of the confrontation between the United States, NATO and the EU, and Russia; calls urgently for an end to the threats of force and the war of words, which only increase tensions and lead to an arms race in the wider region and third countries; demands that Russia, the United States and NATO end the policy of military pressure, and calls for an immediate stop to the spiral of military escalation, an end to military manoeuvres and provocation, and the reduction of military presence in the conflict regions; strongly rejects the deployment of additional military units in Eastern Europe, as well as in other parts of the world; warns that the failure to re-open a results-oriented dialogue with Russia could have dangerous consequences for peace and security in Europe and the world;

4. Denounces the enlargement of NATO to the borders of the Russian Federation; strongly rejects further enlargements of NATO;

5. Calls for negotiations to be started on a new collective security system in Europe based on the UN Charter, and which takes into account the interests of all countries of Europe; underlines the urgency of resuming arms control and disarmament negotiations, and of improving the effectiveness of existing confidence and security-building measures, modernising them and broadening their scope;

6. Recalls that since the dissolution of the USSR there have been several frozen conflicts in the former Soviet area; stresses that there has been an increase in ethno-territorial conflicts over the last decades in Europe; recalls that the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe and the Helsinki Accords proved in their time that pan-European diplomatic negotiations could ease tensions and help promote democratic change across Europe; believes therefore that a new Conference on Security and Cooperation should be convened in order to peacefully and legally resolve all ongoing territorial conflicts in Europe and usher a new era of cooperation and friendship among all European peoples;

7. Calls on the EU and EU Member States to restart a result-oriented political dialogue with Russia with a view to rebuilding trust;

8. Underlines that in EU-Russian inter-parliamentary dialogue is not a reward, but an instrument for raising concerns, exchanging arguments and promoting mutual understanding and trust; notes that this instrument is used in relations with many other partners with whom deep differences persist; notes that the inter-parliamentary relations with the Russian Duma have been frozen for more than six years, and takes the view that this lack dialogue contributed to the deepening mutual mistrust; calls for the restoration of the normal functioning of the inter-parliamentary dialogue between the Russian Duma and Parliament; welcomes reports that Mr Navalny has received ample medical attention from a number of his private doctors, that he is eating again, and that his condition is improving; wishes Mr Navalny a speedy recovery;

9. Calls on the Russian authorities to implement the ruling of the ECtHR, and drop the charges against Mr Navalny and to release him;

10. Reiterates its call on the Russian authorities to investigate the poisoning of Mr Navalny, which the OPCW deems to have occurred, in full transparency and without further delay; calls on any country, organisation, or laboratory that could contribute to the investigation on the Navalny case to cooperate in order to advance the investigation and bring those responsible to justice; is concerned at the number of victims of attacks on current and former Russian citizens over the last two decades; stresses that the perpetrators must be held accountable in order to provide justice for the victims and their families; calls for an immediate end to impunity for any such cases;

11. Reiterates its concern that the Navalny case and recent efforts to silence the civil society organisation linked to him are not isolated incidents, but confirm a negative pattern of the shrinking space for critical voices and civil society in Russia; calls on the Russian authorities to ensure that Russian citizens are able to exercise their freedom of assembly and freedom of speech without any interference, and without fearing for their lives or for those of their family members and friends;

12. Regrets the wrongful conflation of the conflict in Ukraine with the separate issue of the deteriorating health and ill-treatment of Mr Navalny by the Russian authorities; warns that politicising Mr Navalny’s case in the context of escalating geopolitical confrontation with Russia only gives the Russian authorities a reason to view Mr Navalny as an internal security threat, to politicise his detention, and to justify acts of repression against him to a domestic audience on that basis; believes that Mr Navalny’s interests are best served by approaching the subject of his imprisonment strictly as a human rights issue, and preventing its conflation with geopolitical matters and military conflicts;

13. Highlights, that even though the accusations against Russia’s GRU military intelligence service regarding explosions at a Czech arms depot in 2014 are extremely serious, no solid proof has been presented by the responsible authorities, and that therefore more transparency or investigation is needed; encourages Russia and the Czechia to defuse tensions through dialogue;

14. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and the Government and Parliament of the Russian Federation.


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