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Wednesday, 8 June 2011 - Strasbourg OJ edition

EU-Russia summit (debate)

  Laima Liucija Andrikienė (PPE). (LT) Madam President, I call on the heads of the EU institutions not to forget human rights at the EU-Russia Summit that begins tomorrow. It is clear that respect for human rights is a valuable basis, without which a strategic partnership and the modernisation of EU-Russian relations would be impossible.

The specific case we need to discuss is the ruling by Moscow city court on 24 May to reject the appeal made by Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Platon Lebedev against the new seven year sentence. In the 21st century, a shameful trial is taking place before our very eyes, and the sentences are not written in court. This is happening in a country linked to the EU by a so-called strategic partnership. The ruling by the Moscow court once again revealed serious flaws in Russia’s court system and strengthened the opinion that it punishes those in Russia who have political ambitions, but whose opinions do not coincide with those of the Kremlin.

The ruling made on 31 May by the European Court of Human Rights and violations in Russia of the European Convention on Human Rights are facts that must also be discussed.

We, the European Parliament should say clearly that, if Russia’s President, Dmitri Medvedev, wants to come to the European Parliament, he should appear here together with prisoner of conscience, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, and this would be the most effective strategy and tactic for the modernisation of Russia. President Medvedev and prisoner of conscience, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, together in the European Parliament – that would be a sight worth not only the attention of the world’s media, but also the heartfelt support of democratic society.

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