Procedure : 2021/2642(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B9-0251/2021

Texts tabled :


Debates :

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

Votes :

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, the military build-up on Ukraine’s border and the Russian attack in the Czech Republic</Titre>


<RepeatBlock-By><Depute>Michael Gahler, Željana Zovko, Andrius Kubilius, Sandra Kalniete, Isabel Wiseler‑Lima, Andrzej Halicki, Antonio López‑Istúriz White, Miriam Lexmann, David Lega, Rasa Juknevičienė, Jerzy Buzek, Riho Terras, Arba Kokalari, Tomáš Zdechovský, Luděk Niedermayer, Vladimír Bilčík, Traian Băsescu, Jiří Pospíšil, Stanislav Polčák, Eugen Tomac, Michaela Šojdrová</Depute>

<Commission>{PPE}on behalf of the PPE Group</Commission>


See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B9-0236/2021


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


The European Parliament,

 having regard to its previous resolutions on Russia and Ukraine,

 having regard to the G7 foreign ministers’ statement on Ukraine of 18 March 2021,

 having regard to the letter of the leaders of the EPP, S&D and Renew Europe Groups of 14 April 2021 on the health of Alexei Navalny,

 having regard to the meeting of the President of France, the President of Ukraine and the Chancellor of Germany on 16 April 2021 on the issue of the Russian military build-up,

 having regard to the declaration by the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy on behalf of the EU of 18 April 2021 on the deteriorating health of Alexei Navalny,

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

A. whereas the EU’s Eastern Partnership Policy, aimed at reinforcing the political association and the economic integration of the neighbouring countries which have chosen to go down the European path, has stirred Russia’s overt and covert aggression in the region;

B. whereas the Russian Federation has in recent weeks substantially increased its military presence on the eastern and northern borders with Ukraine and in Crimea, amassing a total of over 100 000 troops, as well as tanks, artillery and armoured vehicles and other heavy equipment; whereas the recent build-up is the biggest concentration of Russian troops since 2014 and its scale indicates offensive intentions;

C. whereas the Russian Ministry of Defence has announced that it will close the waters leading to the Kerch Strait, which connects the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov, to warships and non-commercial vessels of other countries until October 2021, thus partially blocking access to it;

D. whereas according to Ukrainian sources, the Russian Federation has approximately 3 000 officers and military instructors serving in the armed forces of the two so-called People’s Republics;

E. whereas the destabilisation of east Ukraine by the Russian Federation via its proxy forces in the Donetsk and Luhansk so-called People’s Republics has been ongoing since 2014; whereas the conflict has claimed the lives of more than 14 000 people and resulted in close to two million people becoming internally displaced persons (IDPs);

F. whereas Ukraine has requested that paragraph 16.3 of Chapter III of the Vienna Document 2011 on Confidence- and Security-Building Measures be invoked, requesting ‘an explanation of unusual military activities’ of the Russian Federation near Ukraine’s border and in occupied Crimea; whereas the Vienna Document was adopted by all 57 members of the of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) in 2011 to serve as a lasting source of cooperation and military transparency; whereas the Russian Federation has decided not to participate in this meeting;

G. whereas the Russian Minister of Defence, Sergei Shoigu, declared on Thursday 22 April 2021 that the amassed forces would be returning to their bases;

H. whereas the health of Alexei Navalny, the Russian opposition politician, who is currently in a penal colony serving a prison sentence of two-and-a-half years, is severely deteriorating to the extent that his life is in danger and he has not been given proper medical treatment;

I. whereas on 16 February 2021, the European Court of Human Rights decided to indicate to the Government of Russia, under Rule 39 of the Rules of Court, to release Alexei Navalny; whereas this measure should apply with immediate effect; whereas the Court had regard to the nature and extent of risk to Alexei Navalny’s life, demonstrated prima facie for the purposes of applying the interim measure, and seen in the light of the overall circumstances of Alexei Navalny’s current detention;

J. whereas on Friday 23 April 2021, Alexei Navalny announced that, following advice provided by non-prison doctors, he would gradually suspend his hunger strike which began on 31 March; whereas the medical advice provided to Alexei Navalny ruled that continuing the hunger strike would be life-threatening;

K. whereas on Monday 26 April 2021, the Russian prosecutor suspended the activities of Alexei Navalny’s nationwide political organisation ahead of a court ruling that is expected to outlaw the movement as ‘extremist’; whereas the regional headquarters of the organisation were banned from holding rallies or engaging in election activities;

L. whereas the Russian Federation poses not only an external threat to European security, but is also waging an internal war on its own people in the form of the systematic oppression of the opposition and arrests on the streets; whereas on 21 April 2021 alone, the number of arrests of peaceful demonstrators reached more than 1 788, which adds up to an overall number of more than 15 000 innocent Russian citizens detained since January 2021;

M. whereas in its two previous resolutions on Russia, Parliament called for a review of the EU’s policy towards Russia and its five guiding principles and asked the Council to immediately start preparations and adopt an EU strategy for future relations with a democratic Russia, which would include a broad range of incentives and conditions to strengthen domestic trends within Russia towards freedom and democracy;

N. whereas the Czech Republic expelled 18 Russian diplomats on 17 April 2021, including members of the Russian intelligence agencies, over the well-founded conclusions of the Security Information Service of the Czech Republic that Russian intelligence services were involved in an ammunition depot explosion in 2014 in which two Czech citizens were killed and extensive material damaged was caused; whereas, moreover, the lives and property of thousands of people living in the surrounding municipalities were ruthlessly put in danger; whereas as a countermeasure, the Russian Federation has expelled 20 Czech diplomats, who were ordered to leave on 19 April 2021; whereas the Czech Republic decided to equal the number of staff at the Embassy of Russia in the Czech Republic with the number of staff at the Embassy of the Czech Republic in Russia on 22 April 2021, following Russia’s refusal to accept the expelled Czech diplomats back into the country;

1. Supports Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognised borders; reiterates its strong support for the EU’s policy of non-recognition of the illegal annexation of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the City of Sevastopol; welcomes all of the restrictive measures taken by the EU as a consequence of the illegal annexation; calls for the immediate release of all illegally detained and imprisoned Ukrainian citizens in the Crimean peninsula and in Russia, and deplores the continued human rights violations perpetrated in Crimea; underlines that Russian officials whose actions or inaction have enabled or resulted in war crimes in Ukraine will have to face international criminal justice;

2. Considers that the EU has to learn the lessons of the unjustified, unexplained and deeply troubling Russian military build-up on the Ukrainian border, which has been suspended as of Thursday 22 April 2021; demands from Russia that it immediately end the practice of unjustified military build-ups targeted at threatening its neighbours, stop all ongoing and future military provocations and de-escalate by withdrawing its forces to their permanent places of dislocation; reiterates that the Russian military build-up also presents a threat to European peace and security, which is why an EU security dialogue with Ukraine should be ambitious and contribute to a convergent assessment of the security challenges on the ground; stresses that friendly countries should step up their military support to Ukraine and their provision of defensive weapons, which is in line with Article 51 of the UN Charter that allows individual and collective self-defence; calls on Russia to remove its troops from the so-called People’s Republics of Lugansk and Donetsk and return control of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the City of Sevastopol to Ukraine;

3. Underscores that if such a military build-up were in the future to be transformed into an invasion of Ukraine by the Russian Federation, the EU must make clear that the price for such a violation of international law and norms would be severe; insists, therefore, that in such circumstances imports of oil and gas from Russia to the EU be immediately stopped and the construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline be immediately halted, while Russia should be excluded from the SWIFT payment system, and all assets in the EU of oligarchs close to the Russian authorities and their families in the EU need to be frozen and their visas cancelled;

4. Calls for the immediate and unconditional release of Alexei Navalny, whose sentencing is politically motivated and runs counter to Russia’s international human rights obligations; expects Russia to comply with the interim measure of the European Court of Human Rights with regard to the nature and extent of risk to Alexei Navalny’s life; holds Russia accountable for the health situation of Alexei Navalny and urges Russia to investigate the assassination attempt on Alexei Navalny, fully cooperating with the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW); calls for the arrests of peaceful protesters and the systematic attacks on the opposition in relation to the demands to free Alexei Navalny to be stopped; underscores that all individuals involved in the prosecution, sentencing and ill-treatment of Alexei Navalny should be subject to sanctions under the EU Global Human Rights Sanctions Regime;

5. Reiterates its support for the international investigation into the circumstances of the tragic downing of the Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17, which might possibly constitute a war crime, and reiterates its call to bring the people responsible to justice;

6. Deplores the fact that perpetrators from the Russian intelligence services caused the explosion of the arms depot in Vrbětice in the Czech Republic, which constituted a violation of Czech sovereignty and represents an unacceptable act of hostility; strongly condemns the activities aimed at destabilising and threatening EU Member States, and underlines that the European Union stands by the Czech Republic; expresses its solidarity with the Czech Republic following the unfounded and disproportionate expulsion of 20 of its diplomats from Russia; expresses its support for the decision of the Czech authorities to equal the number of the staff at the Embassy of Russia in the Czech Republic with the number of staff at the Embassy of the Czech Republic in Russia, condemns the subsequent threats by the Russian Federation towards the Czech Republic and expresses its appreciation of all acts of support and solidarity shown by different governments of EU Member States and all diplomatic services already offered; calls on the EU Member States, following the example of the Skripal case, to proceed with a coordinated expulsion of Russian diplomats;

7. Reiterates that unity among EU Member States is the best policy to deter Russia from carrying out destabilising and subversive actions in Europe; calls on the Member States to coordinate their positions and actions vis-à-vis Russia and to speak with one unified voice; considers that the EU should seek further cooperation with like-minded partners, in particular with NATO and the US, in order to address the common challenges related to Russia;

8. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the Council, the Commission, the governments and parliaments of the Member States, the Council of Europe, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the President, Government and Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine and the President, Government and the State Duma of the Russian Federation.


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