Procedure : 2021/2642(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B9-0252/2021

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>Anna Fotyga, Alexandr Vondra, Ryszard Antoni Legutko, Jan Zahradil, Jadwiga Wiśniewska, Roberts Zīle, Veronika Vrecionová, Adam Bielan, Ruža Tomašić, Eugen Jurzyca, Dace Melbārde, Evžen Tošenovský, Hermann Tertsch, Elżbieta Rafalska, Bogdan Rzońca, Witold Jan Waszczykowski, Ryszard Czarnecki</Depute>

<Commission>{ECR}on behalf of the ECR 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 the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights,

 having regard to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), to which the Russian Federation is a party,

 having regard to the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War of 12 August 1949,

 having regard to UN General Assembly resolution 68/262 of 27 March 2014 entitled ‘Territorial integrity of Ukraine’, UN General Assembly resolutions 71/205 of 19 December 2016, 72/190 of 19 December 2017, 73/263 of 22 December 2018, 74/168 of 18 December 2019 and 75/192 of 16 December 2020 entitled ‘Situation of human rights in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, Ukraine’, and UN General Assembly resolutions 74/17 of 9 December 2019 and 75/29 of 7 December 2020 entitled ‘Problem of the militarization of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, Ukraine, as well as parts of the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov’,

 having regard to the Charter of the United Nations and the Helsinki Final Act of 1975 of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE);

 having regard to UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), to which the Russian Federation is a party,

 having regard to the Protocol on the results of consultations of the Trilateral Contact Group (the Minsk Protocol), signed on 5 September 2014 and the Package of measures for the implementation of the Minsk Agreements, adopted and signed in Minsk on 12 February 2015,

 having regard to Council Decision 2014/145/CFSP of 17 March 2014 concerning restrictive measures in respect of actions undermining or threatening the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine[1],

 having regard to the Association Agreement between the European Union and its Member States, of the one part, and Ukraine, of the other part, and in particular Title II thereof on political dialogue and convergence in the field of foreign affairs and security[2],

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

 having regard to the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction (the Chemical Weapons Convention),

 having regard to the Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances of 5 December 1994 relating to the accession of Belarus, Kazakhstan and Ukraine to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons,

 having regard to the joint communication of the Commission and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy to the European Parliament and the Council of 6 April 2016 entitled ‘Joint framework on countering hybrid threats: a European Union response’ (JOIN(2016)0018),

 having regard to the Constitution of the Russian Federation, in particular Chapter 2 on the Rights and Freedoms of Man and Citizen,

 having regard to its previous resolutions on Russia and Ukraine,

 having regard to Ukraine’s suggestion of 29 March 2021 to return to a full ceasefire in eastern Ukraine and the draft of the Joint Action Plan on the realisation of the Minsk agreements,

 having regard to Ukraine’s proposal in the Trilateral Contact Group (TCG) to return to a full ceasefire from 1 April 2021,

 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 increased Russian military presence on Ukraine’s borders and occupied territories, military exercises such as ‘ZAPAD-2021’ and the significant recent forward positioning of Russian forces in numbers exceeding 100 000 troops demonstrate an increasingly hostile intent vis-à-vis Putin’s policy towards Ukraine and its neighbours; whereas more than 15 000 ceasefire violations have been recorded in both the Donetsk and Luhansk regions since the ceasefire was introduced in July 2020, most of which occurred over the past few months;

B. whereas the Russian Federation has announced the suspension of the right of innocent passage for warships and commercial vessels through the part of the Black Sea in the direction of the Kerch Strait from 24 April until 31 October 2021, violating the freedom of navigation, which is guaranteed by the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, to which Russia is a party; whereas the areas concerned are within the territorial sea of Ukraine surrounding the temporarily occupied territory of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol;

C. whereas Russia’s refusal to provide substantial information on its large-scale military build-up along the border with Ukraine and in the temporarily occupied territories is another violation of international law, and in particular Russia’s commitments under the Vienna Document 2011 on Confidence- and Security-Building Measures;

D. whereas on 18 April 2021 the Czech authorities announced that in 2014 the Russian Federation sent officers on active duty with the GRU’s Unit 29155 to carry out a military sabotage operation against a munitions storage facility in Vrbětice, killing two Czech citizens;

E. whereas the explosion and activity by the GRU, the Russian intelligence service, in the Czech Republic constitutes an unacceptable violation of the sovereignty and national security of the Czech Republic and international law;

F. whereas the Czech authorities confirmed that the perpetrators were the same two Russian intelligence operatives who remain wanted by the UK authorities in relation to the attack carried out in Salisbury in 2018 using a military-grade Novichok nerve agent;

G. whereas on 17 April the Czech Republic expelled 18 Russian officials belonging to Russia’s intelligence services and working in the Russian Embassy in Prague under diplomatic immunity, while Russia expelled 20 Czech diplomats in retaliation; whereas the Slovak Republic, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia also expelled Russian diplomats in solidarity with the Czechs; whereas a few days earlier Poland expelled Russian diplomats in solidarity with the US;

H. whereas the health of Alexei Navalny, the Russian opposition politician detained upon his return to Moscow on 17 January 2021, is severely deteriorating, to the extent that his life is in danger, and whereas he has not been given proper medical treatment, which prompted him to engage in a three-week hunger strike; whereas almost 2 000 supporters of Navalny were arrested last week in nationwide protests aimed at pressuring officials to allow him access to proper medical treatment;

I. whereas the political leadership in Russia in response to the loss of public support before the upcoming parliamentary elections decided to intensify their repressive and authoritarian policies against their own citizens, civil society, political opposition and media workers, who are often subject to acts of harassment, surveillance, physical attacks, threats, raids and searches of their offices and homes, slander and smear campaigns, judicial harassment, arbitrary detention, and ill-treatment, as well as violations of their rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly;

J. whereas in 2020 Russia ranked 129th out of 180 countries in the Corruption Perceptions Index by Transparency International, ranking the lowest in Europe; whereas kleptocratic links between oligarchs, security officers and officials linked to the Kremlin have been partially exposed by anticorruption activists such as the late Sergei Magnitsky and the Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK) led by Alexei Navalny, implicating the highest echelons of power, including Vladimir Putin, in investigations into the unexplained wealth they have amassed over the years; whereas the Moscow Prosecutor’s Office is seeking to label the FBK and two other organisations tied to Navalny – the Citizens’ Rights Protection Foundation and Navalny’s regional headquarters – as ‘extremist’, which would mean that their employees could face arrest and prison sentences ranging from six to ten years;

K. whereas the poisoning of Navalny represents a pattern of action against Putin’s opponents which has affected or led to the death of several leading opposition figures, journalists, activists and foreign leaders, including but not limited to Boris Nemtsov, Anna Politkovskaya, Sergei Protazanov, Natalya Estemirova, Alexander Litvinenko, Viktor Yushchenko and Sergei Skripal;

L. whereas the reactions of Western democracies to these assassinations and other aggressive actions of the Russian Federation have not been sufficient enough to deter the Kremlin from continuing its hostile and oppressive policies;

M. whereas the construction of the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, completed in 2012, was one of the factors which enabled the Russian Federation to implement its aggressive policies towards Ukraine and the ongoing construction of Nord Stream 2 constitutes further threats to the security of Ukraine, as well as to the EU internal market, as it is not in line with EU energy policy or Europe’s strategic interests and therefore needs to be stopped;

1. Unequivocally condemns Russia’s illegal occupation and annexation of Crimea and the de facto occupation of certain parts of the regions of Donetsk and Luhansk, and calls for the EU to reinforce sanctions and freeze diplomatic relations until Russia complies with its international obligations; supports Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognised borders; in this respect welcomes Ukraine’s initiative to establish an international Crimean Platform, which would serve as an international format for negotiations on the de-occupation of the Crimean peninsula, and calls for the EU leadership to provide all necessary support for these efforts;

2. Urges Russia to uphold its obligation under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea and to guarantee the freedom of navigation and transit passage through the international strait to the ports of the Sea of Azov; calls for the EU to develop, in close cooperation with Member States and other international partners, the permanent monitoring of the passage of all vessels coming through the Kerch Strait;

3. Demands that Russia immediately end all military build-ups, provocations or subversive actions against Ukraine and cease any future such plans; reiterates that Russia’s military build-up constitutes a threat to European security; stresses that European countries should step up their military support to Ukraine; calls in this respect on the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (VP/HR) to visit Ukraine as soon as possible, including the eastern part, in order to monitor the situation on the ground;

4. Underlines that the security dimension of the Eastern Partnership countries should also be properly reflected in the Strategic Compass because the security environment and resilience of the EU cannot be achieved without the long-term security resilience of all Eastern Partnership countries;

5. Supports the Euro-Atlantic aspirations of Ukraine and reiterates its position that its up to the Ukrainian people only to determine their future; believes that the upcoming NATO summit is an important opportunity to contribute to the strengthening of Ukraine’s military resilience and calls on the NATO member states to provide Ukraine and Georgia with the Membership Action Plan, which is only one strategic precondition for the future security stability of the Trans-Atlantic community;

6. Strongly condemns Russia’s act of asymmetric military sabotage against the Vrbětice ammunition depot in the Czech Republic and urges the Member States to coordinate diplomatic action as regards sanctions and the expulsion of Russian diplomats; furthermore, calls on the VP/HR and the European Council to extend EU sanctions by freezing assets and travel bans for diplomats and Russian agents working under diplomatic immunity; considers Russia’s act of sabotage in Vrbětice as an attack on the EU and NATO as a whole;

7. Strongly condemns the poisoning and arbitrary arrest of Alexei Navalny and calls for his immediate and unconditional release; urges the Council to adopt restrictive measures against those responsible for his arbitrary arrest and detention, as well as against those responsible for the proliferation and use of chemical weapons; welcomes in this regard the United States and European Union coordinated sanction policy;

8. Calls on the international community to properly investigate recently leaked information about the two near-fatal illnesses suffered by opposition activist Vladimir Kara-Murza while travelling in Russia in 2015 and 2017, which according to leaked documents and independent investigation were caused by ‘intentional poisoning’;

9. Urges the Russian Federation to address the questions raised by the international community urgently and to provide immediate, full and complete disclosure of its Novichok programme to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons;

10. Is concerned over the constitutional amendments that were recently adopted in a questionable referendum; is of the opinion that such changes to the Constitution of the Russian Federation serve as another worrying development proving that the Kremlin’s policy towards Russian civil society will remain oppressive and is designed to project its dominance over the post-Soviet world;

11. Considers unacceptable the use of false historical arguments to justify the construction of Nord Stream 2; is of the view that such a controversial geopolitical project goes against European solidarity and poses further political, economic, security and environmental risks to Europe, as well as constituting a threat of further direct military action against Ukraine; calls on the German authorities, therefore, to halt their backing of this detrimental project, and appeals to private entities, shareholders and financial investors, in particular Germany’s Uniper and Wintershall, France’s Engie, Austria’s OMV and the Dutch-British Shell, to immediately withdraw from it;

12. Calls on the Commission to prepare a general health-check of EU-Russia relations to identify the threats posed to Member States by Russia, including those related to energy security issues;

13. Deplores and condemns the Kremlin’s hybrid warfare tactics and calls for Russia’s access to the SWIFT system to be blocked and for further targeted sanctions, including cutting off access for Russian oligarchs and officials responsible for human rights violations to real-estate purchases, visas, financial products, etc.;

14. Recommends that the Member States enhance counterintelligence cooperation and information-sharing without delay with a view to exposing and thwarting Russia’s clandestine networks in the EU;

15. Is of the opinion that continued failure by Europe to respond adequately to the long-term deterioration of its security serves only to convince Russia that it can carry out these attacks with no fear of retribution; in this regard calls on Europe’s leaders to refrain from actions which inadvertently encourage rather than discourage Russian aggression;

16. Calls on the international community to take the appropriate legal steps and use all available legal tools at its disposal, in view of the Magnitsky Act, to prevent and put a stop to the attacks against opposition politicians and civil society activists;

17. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the governments and parliaments of the Member States, the Presidential Executive Office, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation and the Russian State Duma.

[1] OJ L 78, 17.3.2014, p. 16.

[2] OJ L 161, 29.5.2014, p. 3.

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