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 Full text 
Wednesday, 11 September 2013 - Strasbourg Revised edition

Pressure exercised by Russia on countries of the Eastern Partnership (in the context of the upcoming Eastern Partnership Summit in Vilnius) (debate)

  Libor Rouček, on behalf of the S&D Group. – Madam President, it is more than 20 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall and the Iron Curtain and the collapse of the east-west divide. In those 20 years we have made huge progress. There is peace in Europe, there is a zone of stability, cooperation and, we can also say, prosperity. We overcame the thinking of the zero-sum game which meant that, if somebody gained something, the other one was the loser. We do not want a new iron curtain and a new division of Europe between the so-called west and the so-called east, namely Russia and its mainly southern and eastern neighbours.

Mr Brok was talking about choice. Yes, that is the basic rule in democracy and international law that not only individuals, but also the people in the states have the right to choose which way they want to go. The people in the Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia want to join our Eastern Partnership. They are working hard on their domestic reforms and to fulfil the conditions that are needed for the Association Agreement and the DCFTA. In Vilnius, this process should be finalised at this stage by signing the agreement with the Ukraine and initiating negotiations with Georgia and Moldova. We do not want, and neither do the Ukrainians, Moldovans, Georgians and others, a new Cold War in Europe, so we deplore – unfortunately, we have to say so – the behaviour of Russia in pressing these people, following the mentality of the Cold War and the east-west divide, into not signing this agreement and not exercising their free choice.

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