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Wednesday, 8 June 2011 - Strasbourg OJ edition

EU-Russia summit (debate)

  Paweł Zalewski (PPE).(PL) Madam President, the partnership between the European Union and Russia entails responsibility, including towards third countries. I would like to draw the Commission’s attention to the paragraph of the resolution which calls on Russia not to use the supply of energy resources as a tool for influencing its neighbours’ policies. This is what has happened in the case of Ukraine, where Mr Putin, the Russian Prime Minister, said quite openly during his last meeting with Mr Azarov, the Ukrainian Prime Minister, that lower prices would only be offered and the gas contract renegotiated if Ukraine entered into a customs union with Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan, which would mean abandoning its European plans and aspirations. This is nothing short of blackmail. If the contract is not renegotiated, gas prices on the Russia-Ukraine border may reach EUR 500 per 1 000 m3. Ukraine is already paying the highest prices in Europe for Russian gas, although it is closest to the sources of this gas.

This situation may result in a very serious economic and social crisis in Ukraine. I would like to make it clear that the European Union has obligations towards Ukraine, given that we are currently successfully negotiating the country’s entry into a free trade area or the creation of such an area, and will, in the near future, engage in relations with it as an ally of the European Union. I would call on the Commission to demand quite plainly that Russia ceases all such practices and puts a stop to them.

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