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Procedimiento : 2013/2836(RSP)
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Ciclos relativos a los documentos :

Textos presentados :

O-000089/2013 (B7-0506/2013)

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PV 10/10/2013 - 3
CRE 10/10/2013 - 3

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Debates
Jueves 10 de octubre de 2013 - Estrasburgo Edición revisada

3. Estado de Derecho y derechos humanos en Rusia, en particular en lo que se refiere a la xenofobia y la homofobia (debate)
Vídeo de las intervenciones
PV
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  El Presidente. − El punto siguiente en el orden del día es el debate sobre:

– la pregunta con solicitud de respuesta oral a la Comisión sobre el Estado de Derecho y derechos humanos en Rusia, en particular en lo que se refiere a la xenofobia y la homofobia, de Ulrike Lunacek, Raül Romeva i Rueda, Marije Cornelissen y Werner Schulz, en nombre del Grupo de los Verdes/Alianza Libre Europea (O-000089/2013 - (2013/2836(RSP)) - B7-0506/2013).

– la pregunta con solicitud de respuesta oral a la Comisión sobre el Estado de Derecho y derechos humanos en Rusia, en particular en lo que se refiere a la xenofobia y la homofobia, de Cornelis de Jong, Patrick Le Hyaric, Marisa Matias, Paul Murphy, Helmut Scholz, Alda Sousa y Gabriele Zimmer, en nombre del Grupo Confederal de la Izquierda Unitaria Europea/Izquierda Verde Nórdica (O-000101/2013 - (2013/2836(RSP)) - B7-0513/2013).

– la pregunta con solicitud de respuesta oral a la Comisión sobre el Estado de Derecho y derechos humanos en Rusia, de Kristiina Ojuland y Sophia in 't Veld, en nombre del Grupo de la Alianza de los Demócratas y Liberales por Europa (O-000102/2013 - (2013/2836(RSP)) - B7-0514/2013).

– la pregunta con solicitud de respuesta oral a la Comisión sobre el Estado de Derecho y derechos humanos en Rusia, en particular en lo que se refiere a la xenofobia y la homofobia, de Véronique De Keyser, Libor Rouček, Ana Gomes, María Muñiz De Urquiza, Knut Fleckenstein, Michael Cashman y Sergio Gutiérrez Prieto, en nombre del Grupo de la Alianza Progresista de Socialistas y Demócratas en el Parlamento Europeo (O-000103/2013 - (2013/2836(RSP)) - B7-0515/2013).

 
  
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  Ulrike Lunacek, author. − Mr President, Russia is an important country in the EU’s external relations. Russia is a member of the Council of Europe and has signed the European Declaration on Human Rights, so we supposedly have a shared commitment as Europeans to human rights standards on this continent, but what we are seeing at the moment is really a scary increase in violence against certain people. We are going to be talking this morning especially about lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people – or people perceived to be lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.

Recently, two laws have been passed – one at federal level, one prior to that in St Petersburg – which prohibit ‘propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations to minors’. Do you know what that means? That means that publicly talking about homosexuality is seen as a crime and organisations can be fined up to EUR 22 700. That has already led to problems for the Side by Side film festival in St Petersburg – it cannot function any more.

There is something else which totally discriminates against human rights organisations: the ‘Foreign Agents Law’ means that any human rights activists who get funding from abroad are seen as foreign agents, as spies. What we should be spying on is on how Russia deals with human rights violations.

This law against propaganda aimed at minors of non-traditional sexual relations – what would it have meant 100 years ago? There were famous Russian people like Tchaikovsky or Peter the Great who are known to have had homosexual relations and to have been gay. So what does Putin, what does the Duma want with a law like that? It simply serves to discriminate, to increase violence, and that is condoned by the state.

Commissioner, our question was to you and also to the Council, which unfortunately is not represented here today: what are you doing in order to make sure that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights are safeguarded in Russia? We need to be stronger on that, because otherwise we have greater problems with people being humiliated, being raped by people who say, well, these are people who are not human, who need to be forced to be healed. We know that we have major problems in Russia with violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. What are you doing, Commissioner, to make sure that in our foreign relations we debate that and we make sure that Putin and the Duma will change that law?

 
  
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  Cornelis de Jong, Auteur. − Voorzitter, het is duidelijk dat de positie van LGBT's in Rusland met de dag verslechtert. Je huivert bij de beelden op YouTube waarin mensen vanwege hun seksuele oriëntatie in elkaar worden geslagen en op allerlei mogelijke manieren worden vernederd.

Dat soort intolerantie en geweld komt helaas in steeds meer landen voor, ook in EU-lidstaten. Maar in dergelijke gevallen nemen de meeste regeringen in de EU maatregelen. Je maakt het gemakkelijker voor slachtoffers om aangifte te doen, en je geeft politie en justitie instructies om die aangiftes met prioriteit te behandelen.

In Rusland gaat het anders. Daar neemt de overheid juist wetten aan die zogenaamde homo-propaganda verbieden. Niemand weet precies waar de grens ligt, maar de daders op YouTube voelen zich enorm gesterkt. Zij zullen wel eens even laten zien hoe je met niet-heteroseksuelen omgaat. Die sla je gewoon in elkaar.

Russische organisaties voor LGBT's vragen ons soms voorzichtig te zijn met onze reacties. De regering wordt immers gesteund door de meerderheid van de Russen die op LGBT-gebied ook het licht nog niet gezien hebben. Tegelijkertijd weten diezelfde organisaties ook dat ze het niet alleen kunnen redden en dat ze toch onze hulp nodig hebben.

Dat maakt het allemaal niet gemakkelijker en misschien is het daarom dat een aantal collega's en ikzelf een nogal wollig antwoord kregen op de brief die wij onder andere aan de voorzitter van de Commissie en aan de hoge vertegenwoordiger stuurden op 4 september jl.. Er wordt nogal veel gepraat. Maar wat levert dat op? Organisaties kunnen op onze financiële steun rekenen, zegt de hoge vertegenwoordiger, maar wat betekent dat als dergelijke steun eigenlijk verboden is in Rusland.

Moeten we niet verder gaan in onze reacties? Moeten we bijvoorbeeld in de Raad van Europa geen verdere actie ondernemen en Rusland aan de schandpaal nagelen? Kunnen we geen afspraken maken – zeg ik vooral tegen commissaris Malmström – over een ruimhartig toelatingsbeleid voor de slachtoffers? Daarmee erkennen we tenminste dat er in Rusland mensen vervolgd worden. En ook dát zet weer druk op de regering.

Kortom, kan het alstublieft een onsje meer zijn? Kan de Commissie aangeven wat zij nu concreet gaat doen, anders dan praten?

 
  
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  Michael Cashman, author. − Mr President, it is interesting that this law in Russia started in 2006, but the responsibility for it must be taken by the Thatcher Government which introduced such a law in 1987. It came into force in 1988. To quote another bisexual, Shakespeare, it is a brilliant demonstration that ‘the evil that men do lives after them; the good is oft interred with their bones’.

In 2011, building on that 2006 law, we saw a federal law adopted. Then last year a federal law was adopted called the Foreign Agents Law. This also brings the suppression, not only of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and their NGOs, but of other human rights defenders, LGBTI people and other minorities, and it brings the suppression and oppression to new heights. Under the Foreign Agents Law, nine organisations are currently under legal charges, 18 received official orders to eliminate violations by registering as ‘foreign agents’ and 53 organisations received warnings not to violate the law. These legal restrictions are coupled with harassment, intimidation of human rights defenders and civil society representatives. Harassment: they are stigmatised as enemies of Russia and its traditional values – whatever they may be – when they defend the rights of ethnic minorities, migrants and LTBT people.

But let me say that these laws do not reflect decent Russian values. They reflect Putin’s ever-tighter hand of steel. It is a dictatorial style in which opposition voices are silenced and minorities shunned. The Russian Government therefore needs to respect its human rights obligations, including the European Convention on Human Rights. But, Commissioner, let me call on yourselves, the College and the External Action Service to do two things. Firstly, to continue monitoring developments in Russia using the LGBT guidelines and engage in dialogue often and without concession – and this includes at political summits and human rights consultations and maybe even Winter Olympics. Secondly, I would like the Commission to consider delaying visa liberalisation with the Russian Federation. We must not give them gifts on the back of those who are being discriminated against and suppressed. I look forward to your answers to those two specific calls.

 
  
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  Cecilia Malmström, Member of the Commission. − Mr President, I know that this is a concern which this House has raised several times over the last month and we share the concerns about the human rights situation in Russia.

Let me start by assuring you that the concerns expressed here have been met with determination and consistency in our response. From the outset the European Union has made clear that we believe that Russia should respect its international commitments and strive for a system fully based on the rule of law, respect for human rights and an ever more democratic society. We have repeatedly flagged the inconsistencies between these commitments and the new laws recently adopted on libel, treason, demonstrations, NGO foreign funding, blasphemy, so-called homosexual propaganda, as well as on internet control.

The questions that you have raised essentially draw on two of these recent pieces of legislation: the Law on Foreign Agents and the Law on Promotion of Non-traditional Sexual Relations among Children and Minors, as it is called. I would like to highlight the ways in which we in the European Union have reacted since last June.

First, we have continued to pursue intensive diplomatic efforts to express our concerns with regard to the adoption and implementation of these laws. The High Representative has reacted publicly every time new problematic laws were passed, which has made our position very clear and very well known.

We have also systematically raised these issues in all our discussion with our Russian counterparts. We are convinced that the law prohibiting so-called homosexual propaganda stigmatises particular groups and individuals and leads to violence. Therefore, we have called on Russia to amend this legislation in our human rights consultations, but also in other political dialogues. I, myself, have regular contact with the Russian authorities especially from the Ministry of Justice and Interior, and I have raised this question numerous times in Moscow and in meetings here in Brussels and elsewhere. We have also engaged in Moscow in dedicated exchanges with representatives of the Presidential Council for Civil Society and Human Rights, who have been at the forefront of the proposals to amend these laws.

These questions were raised at the Yekaterinburg summit last June. In particular, Vice-President/High Representative Ashton emphasised the EU concerns with the shrinking space for civil society, which is leading Russia in the wrong direction. We further stressed the importance of having a better format for our human rights consultation, which in our view should take place in Moscow and with the participation of Russian ministers. The next round of talks is foreseen for the end of the year.

Thirdly, we have also been active on the multilateral front. Most recently, the European Union called upon the United Nations Human Rights Council on 17 September, during its 24th session, to pay urgent attention to the situation in Russia with regard to these two pieces of legislation, and called upon the Russian federation to uphold its commitment to protect the enjoyment of basic rights of expression, of assembly and of opinion by all. We invited Russia to actively strive towards a more conducive attitude regarding the inclusion and tolerance of minorities in Russian society. We have issued similar statements in the Council of Europe and in the OSCE. We very much hope that Russia will look again at these texts and the implementation of the legislation and fully heed the recommendation by the Venice Commission, due early next year.

The very existence of a number of human rights NGOs in the Russian Federation is at stake. Some of them, like Golos, an election-monitoring organisation, have been closed or fined. Around 70 organisations have been warned not to receive foreign funding, or have received a notice of violation according to which they should register as a ‘foreign agent’. This label is a clear attempt to discredit these organisations or to silence them through self-censorship, harassment, or by cutting down their sources of financing. Therefore, our efforts have also aimed at continuing to support these NGOs so as to help them continue their legitimate work.

We believe that our support in areas as different as the rights of conscripts, the protection of journalists and minority rights contribute to the establishment of the rule of law in Russia. We will continue supporting civil society organisations, notably through the EIDHR in Russia. We will continue to keep in constant contact, in Moscow, in the regions and in Brussels, with these organisations.

The EU Special Representative for Human Rights, Mr Stavros Lambrinidis, is engaged with human rights officials and with civil society and he will travel to Russia at the end of this month. Over the last month we took every opportunity to restate our firm support for their work, whilst stressing that they are not, in any way, anyone’s agent. This message was stressed during the visit of the EEAS senior officials to Russia at the end of September. It was repeated by EEAS senior officials during the last general assembly of the EU-Russia Civil Society Forum just this Monday and we also, together with the Member States, engage actively in trial observation to assess the fairness of the justice system.

The crackdown on civil society, the discrimination against sexual minorities and the persisting deficiencies in the rule of law will not be without effect on bilateral relations with Russia. Russia should know that these developments will not strengthen our relationship. We believe it is in Russia’s best interest to foster the rule of law and to adopt legislation in conformity with its commitment and the values shared by the members of the Council of Europe. We stand ready to support Russia, our neighbour and strategic partner, in doing so, in a frank and, we hope, constructive dialogue.

 
  
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  Krzysztof Lisek, w imieniu grupy PPE. – Panie Przewodniczący! Pani Komisarz! Zanim przejdę do Rosji, chciałbym podzielić się z Państwem bardzo smutną wiadomością, którą otrzymałem przed chwilą: w godzinach porannych zmarł przewodniczący Europejskiej Partii Ludowej premier Wilfried Martens. Chciałbym skorzystać z okazji i złożyć kondolencje jego rodzinie. Mam nadzieję, że przewodniczący prowadzący głosowania w dniu dzisiejszym odda cześć temu wielkiemu człowiekowi i wielkiemu Europejczykowi.

Przechodząc do kwestii Rosji, bardzo się cieszę ze słów Pani Komisarz. Mógłbym tylko dodać, i na tym zakończyć swoją wypowiedź, że podpisuję się pod wszystkim, co Pani Komisarz powiedziała. Cieszę się i chciałbym wyrazić zadowolenie z faktu, że Komisja Europejska i wysoka przedstawiciel tak aktywnie działają na rzecz zmiany dziwacznego i niemożliwego do zaakceptowania w cywilizowanym świecie, w XXI wieku, prawa Federacji Rosyjskiej. Myślę, że powinniśmy wszyscy jako politycy europejscy zaapelować również do przedstawicieli naszych rządów, rządów państw członkowskich Unii Europejskiej. Biorąc pod uwagę skandaliczny charakter tego prawa i prześladowanie mniejszości w Rosji, dzisiaj nie tylko wysoka przedstawiciel, nie tylko komisarze europejscy, ale także każdy premier rządu Unii Europejskiej, każdy prezydent, każdy minister spraw zagranicznych powinni podczas spotkań tę sprawę poruszać. Rosja musi zrozumieć, że takiego prawa nie możemy zaakceptować, że prawa człowieka, prawa mniejszości, prawa organizacji pozarządowych do swobodnej działalności w Federacji Rosyjskiej muszą zostać zagwarantowane.

 
  
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  Enrique Guerrero Salom, en nombre del Grupo S&D. – Señor Presidente, señora Comisaria, quiero unirme obviamente a las palabras de sentimiento y solidaridad con la familia del señor Martens, de quien acabamos de conocer su fallecimiento. Pero quiero rendirle un homenaje en el sentido de que todo el mundo sabe que no era de mi «familia política» y , sin embargo, tanto la suya como la mía compartimos una serie de valores que se vinculan con el asunto que estamos discutiendo esta mañana: el respeto a los derechos humanos, el respeto a la condición humana.

La condición humana se puede violentar de distintas maneras, por distintas causas de desigualdad, por distintas faltas de respeto a los derechos fundamentales, y una de ellas, desde luego, tiene que ver con la libre decisión de orientación sexual de cada una de las personas.

Por tanto, creo que cuando estamos pidiéndole a Rusia que respete el Estado de Derecho, no estamos defendiendo solamente los derechos de un número determinado de personas, sea mayor o menor, sino los derechos de todos, porque es la condición humana la que se pone en riesgo cuando se violentan esos derechos. Por tanto, yo impulso, apoyo, animo el trabajo que está haciendo la Comisión y el señor Lambrinidis.

Y tenemos que dejarle claro el mensaje a Rusia ―que es un vecino importante, como usted acaba de señalar― de que toda nuestra relación es una relación global, y en esa relación global no solamente están los intereses económicos o energéticos: están fundamentalmente los valores que defendemos en la Unión.

 
  
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  Sophia in 't Veld, on behalf of the ALDE Group. – Mr President, Madam Commissioner, empty seat of the Council (as usual), very welcome, a lot has been said about what is happening in Russia and everybody is very concerned about the developments. It is actually the combination of developments which is particularly tricky. There is the anti-LGBT law; there is a law which is clearly intended to harass and intimidate NGOs; but now, on top of everything else, Mr Putin, former head of the KGB, has announced a kind of PRISM-on-steroids programme that allows mass-surveillance, apparently for security reasons, in the run-up to Sochi. That mass-surveillance programme will allow him to monitor people, to intimidate them and to basically shut them up, to gag them. It will have the chilling effect of self-censorship. We should be a lot more firm and we should not actually just be talking about dialogue with Mr Putin. I somehow have the feeling that the word ‘dialogue’ has precious little meaning for Mr Putin.

There are a couple of remarks I would like to make, first of all about the attitude of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). It may not officially be our business, but I am personally shocked and horrified by its attitude in banning visible expressions of support to NGOs and LGBT people, saying ‘that kind of support would be politics’. How can it be politics to remind Mr Putin of his treaty obligations as a Member of the Council of Europe? How can it be politics to call for respect for existing human rights legislation? That is not politics.

I would also like to say to the IOC and its members, because they are human beings and they are hiding behind legalistic arguments: silence is also a message. It is a message of support to Mr Putin. I would like to call on the IOC to urgently revise its stance.

We as the European Union are going to accede to the ECHR and we cannot allow watering down of its principles because one of its members is in complete contravention of the rules. Therefore we have to consider suspension of Russian membership of the Council of Europe. That has to be on the table.

I would also like to ask the Commission: What about the proposals for visa liberalisation with Russia? We cannot just continue the talks and pretend nothing is going on.

Finally, we have to give a message of support to the NGOs and LGBT people in Russia, maybe also in the form of EU financial support to NGOs for those people, and ignore the ban on funding for NGOs because this is about the core principles and core values of the European Union.

 
  
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  Marije Cornelissen, on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group. – Mr President, Russia is our biggest neighbour and I would very much like Russia to get closer to the EU – more trade, more travel, more ties in all respects – but the actions of the Putin regime are instead pushing Russia further away from us.

The anti-gay propaganda law is a horrible symbol of the general crackdown on anyone who has an opinion that does not suit Mr Putin. After the law dubbing all NGOs that get financing from abroad as ‘foreign agents’, this is a further attempt to silence civil rights defenders, with horrific consequences. Young gays are threatened and persecuted by vigilantes, violence against LGBT people has increased and activists are detained and prosecuted.

Meanwhile, the EU and some of the Member States are still treating the Putin regime as a regular, friendly government. My own country, the Netherlands, is this year celebrating 400 years of ties with Russia with all kinds of festivities here and there, although the friendship seems to be cooling off rather quickly at the moment. It is time that we stopped treating Russia and the Russian authorities as friends because they are not. They are not our friends. They are not the friends of civil rights or even of the Russian people. They are only the friends of their own power.

Let us be clear: there can be no further trade liberalisation and no further visa liberalisation without more respect for civil rights and for the rights of LGBT people in Russia. There can be no meeting Russian counterparts or celebrating the glorious culture and history of Russia here without emphasising the need for human rights, such as freedom of expression. There must be consequences for Russia in the Council of Europe as well.

Above all, let us not look away as the situation gradually gets worse every day. Let us do what we can, mostly to support the Russian people as their government abandons them.

 
  
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  Charles Tannock, on behalf of the ECR Group. – Mr President, many of us from across the political divide watched with delight as the Iron Curtain came down and the former countries of the Soviet Union embraced freedom. Then ten years ago Mikhail Khodorkovsky was imprisoned. He has been in jail ever since, a victim of selective justice. His case, and that is why I raised it, was illustrative of a serious and sustained decline in the rule of law and human rights in Russia, whose government has effectively created an enemy of all those who simply want to live their lives in peace without harming anyone.

Violent attacks on gay men, ethnic minorities and others are regrettably not limited to Russia, but the rhetoric which has emanated from the Russian Government in recent months seemingly legitimises this violence which, as we know, has rocketed since the discriminatory anti-LGBT legislation was passed by the Duma. We know Russian society clearly attaches much importance to what its leaders call ‘traditional family values’. But they do not have the right in a free and democratic society, and as members of the Council of Europe, to make the lives of gay people a living hell, by prohibiting access to vital support networks and stifling expressions of identity.

I therefore join all colleagues in this House in seeking to know what the European Union has done to raise these fundamental questions of human rights and the rule of law with the Russian authorities. I hear what Commissioner Malmström has said: nobody here doubts the importance of our strategic, commercial, political and security relations with Russia; but we have a duty to speak out against injustices perpetrated on some of the most vulnerable members of society.

 
  
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  Cornelia Ernst, im Namen der GUE/NGL-Fraktion. – Herr Präsident! Ich erinnere mich an eine Nachricht im Fernsehen über eine russische Frau, die vor dem Olympiastadion stand und ein Plakat gegen das Anti-Homosexuellen-Gesetz hochhielt. Sie wurde beschimpft und bedroht von einer Horde junger Männer und dann von der Polizei unter dem Gejohle derselben abgeführt. Das war eine Katastrophe. Homophobie hat eine schlimme und nicht aufgearbeitete negative Tradition in Russland. Persönlichkeitsstörungen, Kranke, Perverse – es ist eine Katastrophe!

Und nun dieses Gesetz. Wir müssen das dringend angehen. Die Menschenrechte sind universal. Sie müssen weltweit gelten, sie müssen natürlich auch in Russland gelten. Was denn sonst! Wir brauchen allerdings den Dialog dazu mit Russland. Mit Sanktionen kommen wir überhaupt nicht weiter. Wir müssen reden, ernsthaft reden und das nicht als Feigenblättchen benutzen. Deshalb unterstütze ich den Ansatz der Kommissarin, die hier wirklich arbeitet und versucht, die Diskussion aufzumachen, vielleicht als einzige überhaupt. Ich bin verärgert über den Rat, der – wie immer in diesen Fragen – alles verschläft und der – wie immer in diesen Fragen – sich nicht wirklich einsetzt und eigentlich in den eigenen Ländern mit der Homophobie zu tun hat und auch dort nicht genügend unternimmt.

Frau Kommissarin, ich wollte Ihnen einfach sagen: Machen Sie hier weiter, es ist ungeheuer wichtig, auch für Leute, die es betrifft. Ich möchte gerne wieder nach Russland fahren, auch in den Urlaub, mit ruhigem Gewissen. Vielleicht können wir alle ein wenig dazu beitragen.

 
  
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  Ewald Stadler (NI). - Herr Präsident! Dieses Parlament hat vor wenigen Wochen einen Beschluss gefasst, in dem Russland verurteilt wurde, weil es angeblich gegen das völkerrechtliche Prinzip der Nichteinmischung in die internen Angelegenheiten der Nachbarstaaten verstoßen hätte. Die ganze heutige Debatte ist nichts anderes als eine Einmischung in die inneren Angelegenheiten Russlands, und sie ist nebenbei von unglaublichen antirussischen Reflexen geprägt.

Das gleiche Parlament unternimmt nichts gegen Länder wie Saudi-Arabien, die sogar Partner des Westens sind, wo jedes Jahr einige Menschen aufgrund ihrer sexuellen Orientierung hingerichtet werden, aufgrund dieses wahabitisch-dschihadistischen Terrorregimes, das dort herrscht. In Russland sind nicht annähernd vergleichbare Menschenrechtsverletzungen festzustellen, wie sie in der Türkei stattfinden, und mit der Türkei führen wir Beitrittsverhandlungen. Uns fehlt jede Glaubwürdigkeit gegenüber Russland, hier eine antirussische Debatte zu führen.

Beide Gesetze – machen Sie sich da ja nichts vor –, die hier in der Diskussion sind, haben die breiteste Zustimmung der russischen Bürger! Wenn Sie Demokratie achten, dann müssen Sie auch die Zustimmung der russischen Bürger zu diesen beiden Gesetzen achten und Respekt davor haben. Das ist eine innere russische Angelegenheit, die die Russen selber regeln. Die öffentliche Meinung wird heute durch diese Einmischungsdebatte sogar eher noch bestätigt in ihrer Haltung gegenüber der Einmischung aus dem Ausland in russische Angelegenheiten. Russland schützt seine Werte wie Familie, und dafür ist Russland sogar Respekt zu zollen!

Russische Bürger sind nicht wie wir, gehen nicht wie wir in die Knie vor gut vernetzten Randgruppen. Und daher können Sie Gift darauf nehmen: Russische Bürger nehmen die heutige Debatte sehr gelassen. Ihre Papierchen und ihre Beschlüsse und ihre Debattenbeiträge beeindrucken in Russland niemanden! Daher kann man diese Debatte in Wirklichkeit gelassen über sich ergehen lassen.

 
  
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  Michèle Striffler (PPE). - Monsieur le Président, Madame la Commissaire, chers collègues, depuis l'adoption de plusieurs lois limitant les libertés d'expression, de réunion et d'association, notamment la loi relative aux agents étrangers et les lois antipropagande fédérales ou régionales, les agressions et violences gratuites xénophobes et homophobes se multiplient.

Le mépris croissant à l'égard des droits fondamentaux en Russie est manifeste et très préoccupant. La loi pénalisant la propagande homosexuelle entraine des discriminations à l'encontre de minorités sexuelles déjà très mal vues en Russie, ce qui est contraire à la Convention européenne des droits de l'homme. La Russie s'enferme ainsi dans une homophobie terrible. Nous n'avons pas le droit de rester indifférents. L'Union européenne doit réagir davantage. Il est de notre devoir de continuer à sensibiliser les autorités russes aux conséquences dramatiques de ces lois et de leur rappeler qu'elles doivent respecter leurs engagements internationaux.

Il est impératif que Madame la vice-présidente haute représentante, Catherine Ashton, et le Service européen pour l'action extérieure engagent, le plus souvent possible et sans relâche, un dialogue politique sur ces très graves discriminations.

 
  
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  Joanna Senyszyn (S&D). - Panie Przewodniczący! Unia Europejska jest zainteresowana pogłębianiem i rozwijaniem stosunków z Rosją, ale oczekujemy przestrzegania zasad demokratycznych, praworządności i poszanowania praw człowieka. Dlatego właśnie jesteśmy zaniepokojeni faktem, że Rosja nie wywiązuje się z międzynarodowych zobowiązań prawnych w zakresie przestrzegania podstawowych praw człowieka i rządów prawa zapisanych w europejskiej konwencji praw człowieka oraz w Międzynarodowym pakcie praw obywatelskich i politycznych. Szczególnie niepokoi wzrost brutalnych ataków o podłożu ksenofobicznym i homofobicznym, zagrożenie rozwiązaniem organizacji pozarządowych zajmujących się monitorowaniem poważnych przypadków łamania praw człowieka, ustawa ograniczająca pokojowe protesty, homofobiczna ustawa ograniczająca prawa osób LGBT, tzw. „prawo o bluźnierstwach”, a także brak skutecznych śledztw w sprawie zabójstw dziennikarzy i aktywistów praw człowieka.

Wyrazem naszych obaw była rezolucja z dnia 13 czerwca 2013 r. w sprawie praworządności w Rosji. Skoro jednak działania podjęte w jej następstwie nie odniosły spodziewanych skutków, jakie inne od dotychczasowych środki są planowane? Czy w dostatecznym stopniu uświadamiamy władzom Rosji, że pełne poszanowanie praw człowieka poprawi wizerunek Rosji i jej wiarygodność na arenie światowej, a w szczególności w relacjach z Unią Europejską?

 
  
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  Adam Bielan (ECR). - Jednym z przykładów rosyjskiego autorytaryzmu jest z całą pewnością ustawa o zagranicznych agentach. Na jej podstawie prokurator generalny sklasyfikował ponad 200 organizacji pozarządowych. W efekcie przyjęcia tego haniebnego dokumentu nasilono kontrolę stowarzyszeń. Te, które otrzymywały dofinansowanie z zagranicy, zmuszono do zawieszenia działalności bądź rezygnacji z grantów. Dotyczy to głównie organizacji monitorujących sytuację polityczną oraz stopień praworządności w Rosji. W czerwcu zawieszono stowarzyszenie Gołos, które zajmowało się obserwowaniem wyborów i udokumentowało masowe fałszerstwa podczas ostatnich elekcji. Nie trzeba tłumaczyć, jakie konsekwencje ma to dla mocno nadwątlonej rosyjskiej demokracji.

Pragnę jednocześnie wyrazić niepokój związany ze wzmożoną aktywnością rosyjskiej armii. W bieżącym roku Moskwa przeprowadza szkolenia bojowe na niespotykaną od czasów sowieckich skalę. Unijna dyplomacja nie może pozostawać bezczynna wobec tych okoliczności.

 
  
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  Eduard Kukan (PPE). - Mr President, Russia has been on our radar for a number of reasons. Now the Sochi Olympic Games are approaching swiftly and so is the fear that the Olympic Charter might not be respected. It is clear that the situation in the country is serious. We are seeing a Russia that is cracking down heavily on civil society and bullying its neighbours, and we must react to that.

What is worrisome about the situation is the unprecedented double domestic and international pressure that it is exerting. First of all, Russia is intensively targeting its civil society, spreading fear and making the work of certain NGOs impossible. The passing of the so-called ‘Foreign Agent Law’ and the federal law banning gay propaganda are the most flagrant examples of the extremely discriminatory legislation that has been passed in the last months. These two laws are not only repressive, but they make room for arbitrary interpretation of the law. The justice system then becomes a tool of political power. It creates a society in which certain groups are vulnerable and treated as second-class citizens.

Second, Russia is increasingly exerting pressure on its neighbours, whether it is pressure on Armenia to join the Customs Union or on Ukraine, which stands at the crossroads between the East and the West or, as we have seen this week, the trade pressure on Lithuania. As the situation in Russia deteriorates, we should not be silent and we should express our concerns in a very clear and categorical way.

 
  
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  Mitro Repo (S&D). - Arvoisa puhemies, Euroopan unionin on oltava johdonmukainen suhteessaan Venäjään. Velvollisuutemme on pitää esillä ihmisoikeuksia sekä demokratiakehitystä.

Kumppanuus ja yhteistyö Venäjän kanssa on toki tärkeää, mutta meillä on syytä olla huolissaan Venäjän oikeusvaltion suunnasta. Me emme saa hyväksyä ihmisarvon ja demokratian periaatteiden toistuvia ja räikeitä rikkomuksia. Internetissä liikkuvat videot järkyttävät. Venäjän seksuaalivähemmistöjä sekä maahanmuuttajia vastaan kohdistetaan silmitöntä väkivaltaa.

Oikeusvaltioon ei kuulu se, että räikeitä loukkauksia tarkkailevia kansalaisjärjestöjä uhkaa lainsäädäntömuutosten myötä toimintojen lopettaminen. Asia on yksiselitteinen: lainsäädäntö, joka syrjii seksuaalivähemmistöjä heidän suuntautumisensa tai sukupuoli-identiteettinsä perusteella, rikkoo itse Venäjän omia ja Venäjää sitovia kansainvälisiä velvoitteita.

Venäjän on itse korjattava tilanne. Moniarvoinen, avoin ja keskusteleva kansalaisyhteiskunta on rikkaus eikä uhka, näin myös Venäjällä.

 
  
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  Ivo Strejček (ECR). - Vážený pane předsedající, já tady celou debatu velmi pečlivě poslouchám a je samozřejmě řada argumentů, se kterými se ztotožňuji. Přesto chci říci něco, co tady od některých mohlo zaznít a nezaznělo. Já jsem do svých třiceti let žil v komunistickém Československu. Já nemám jediný důvod zastávat se čehokoliv, co je spojené se Sovětských svazem. Ale chci vás upozornit, přátelé, že Rusko není Sovětský svaz, že v Rusku není komunismus, že Rusko nepraktikuje to, co praktikovalo před třiceti, pětatřiceti nebo čtyřiceti lety. Ano, ruská cesta k demokracii se nám nemusí líbit, může se nám zdát krkolomná, může se nám zdát zvláštní. Ale je to cesta nějakým směrem, která je správnější než cesta, která tam byla před desítkami let.

Nezapomeňme, že 50 % Rusů se hlásí k pravoslavné církvi, k církvi s velkými hodnotami a mohou být některými, řekněme argumenty, které tady dnes používáme, hrubě poníženi.

 
  
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  Oldřich Vlasák (ECR). - Vážený pane předsedající, negativní postoj ruských úřadů vůči neziskovým organizacím, minoritám či nezávislým novinářům, politicky motivované vraždy a násilí, to jsou příklady, které jasně ukazují, že demokratické principy v Rusku ne zcela fungují. Ti, kteří je prosazují, čelí vykonstruovaným obviněním, výhružkám či fyzickému násilí a v některých případech se ocitají dokonce v ohrožení života.

Je proto třeba nahlas a otevřeně říci, že přes veškerou snahu se nám nedaří dosáhnout změny ruského postoje k lidským právům a zajistit tak zlepšení nepříznivého stavu. Lidskoprávní tematika, byť oběma stranami deklarovaná jako důležité téma, hraje v dialogu mezi Ruskem a Evropskou unií pouze roli deklaratorní a zásadně neovlivňuje vztahy obou partnerů v jiných dimenzích, zejména v dimenzi ekonomické spolupráce.

Navíc některé státy pod tlakem ekonomické krize mění směr svých zahraničních politik a začínají ekonomickou spolupráci upřednostňovat. Je proto třeba, abychom alespoň my na toto téma opakovaně upozorňovali.

 
  
 

Intervenciones con arreglo al procedimiento de solicitud incidental de uso de la palabra («catch the eye»)

 
  
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  Leonidas Donskis (ALDE). - Mr President, the paradox of the situation is that in fact, instead of celebrating its great tradition of dissent and human rights defenders –people like Andrei Sakharov, Yelena Bonner, Andrei Sinyavsky, Lyudmila Alexeyeva, Vladimir Bukovsky – Russia is trying to stigmatise them. This is one of the great absurdities of this time because ‘foreign agent’ was a term applied by Stalin to the enemies of the state. We are now seeing the ghosts of the Soviet Union when they try to stigmatise and humiliate NGOs or LGBTI people.

What is happening in Russia? The country has every right to celebrate its great share and great role in dissent and human rights defence – we have the supreme award of the European Parliament for freedom of expression named after Andrei Sakharov, one of the greatest Russians of the 20th century – but all of a sudden we have to remind Russia of its great role and try to shame it for stigmatising the best of Russia. This is a great paradox and I do not think we should be silent.

 
  
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  Paul Murphy (GUE/NGL). - Mr President, Russia’s new legislation which bans the so-called promotion of untraditional sexual relations has unleashed a wave of reactionary anti-LGBTI violence. It is not that surprising, because that was precisely the point of the legislation: to send a clear message that the state condones violence against gay people.

The results are available for all to see on YouTube, with far-right homophobic groups with disgusting names like ‘occupy paedophilia’ and ‘occupy gerontophilia’, torturing and beating up LGBTI people. Friends and comrades of my own in Russia, for example Igor Yasin from Socialist Resistance, have repeatedly been arrested by the authorities for taking part in LGBTI rallies and been beaten up by paramilitary thugs for speaking out against racism and for rights.

This new law is part of a general clampdown on democratic rights, with the incredible 100-year ban on Pride taking place in Moscow, the disgraceful prison conditions that forced the Pussy Riot member into hunger strike, and the outrageous arrests of Greenpeace activists. As often happens, it is the LGBTI community that is on the frontline of oppression, and injury to one is an injury to all. All those who stand for democratic rights, who stand for workers’ rights, must take a clear stand against it.

 
  
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  Andrew Henry William Brons (NI). - Mr President, we have heard from the Commissioner that there ought to be respect for the rule of law in Russia, that people should not be condemned without a distinct breach of the law established by the ordinary courts. But we heard only yesterday from the Chair of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs, no less, that people accused of an undoubtedly horrific murder in Greece could be regarded as guilty before any trial. Even people perceived as being beyond the pale must be treated with respect for the rule of law.

Before we point the finger at Russia, Members of this Parliament should look into their own conduct. We have heard that Russia is restricting freedom of expression. If it is, that will be reprehensible. However, many EU Member States lock people up for expressing opinions that do not have any hint of violence. Indeed, Commissioner Reding would like to go further and criminalise thought crime. I am sure that many Members here have been speaking honesty and from the heart, but I believe that behind this debate is an agenda that has got very little to do with sexuality or freedom of expression: it is about Russia’s foreign policy.

 
  
 

(Fin de las intervenciones con arreglo al procedimiento de solicitud incidental de uso de la palabra («catch the eye»))

 
  
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  Cecilia Malmström, Member of the Commission. − Mr President, let me start on behalf of the Commission by paying tribute to Mr Martens, who was a great European; our thoughts today are with his family and his friends.

Can I start this quite morose debate with one piece of good news? This morning Russia has suspended its 100% checks on Lithuanian lorries and this is as a result of hard work by the Commission, the EEAS and persistent support and solidarity from the Presidency. However, the ban on dairy products is maintained.

So that was the good news. Now the bad news. There are more concerns on the human rights front. The verdict on Tuesday sentencing the Bolotnaya Square demonstrator Mikhail Kosenko to psychiatric internment is a bad souvenir of the past. The world was also shocked to read the letter written by Nadezhda Tolokonnikova from Pussy Riot, describing her horrible detention conditions and the hunger strike that she has started. We have initiated a demarche to express our deep concern to the Russian authorities and to ask for her detention conditions to be eased and for her family and lawyers to be granted access to her.

You will also have read about Greenpeace in the news recently. We are in permanent contact in Brussels and in Moscow with both Greenpeace and our Member States and the different consulates and embassies. For the time being, all have favoured a consular approach, rejecting the charge of piracy. We will give all support to obtain the early release of the 30 people under arrest and of the boat.

Let me also apologise to Mr Cashman because I forgot to answer his question on visas. This is something that takes up quite a lot of my work. In the visa liberalisation process, we are negotiating in four blocks and one of those is human rights. This is also the block in which we have made the least progress. So this is continuously raised in our dialogues on all levels – at ministerial level and at working level – with the Russian authorities. So my apologies for not coming back to that.

I am struck, I must say, by the very strong consensus in this House. We are all extremely concerned about the situation in Russia, especially with regard to the two laws we have been discussing, but also in respect of other issues. In my introduction I gave you quite a long summary of everything that the High Representative and the Commission are doing in order to continuously use all the tools that we have to raise these issues, to condemn, and to try to work for a change. I hear the very clear support for that and your concerns in this House. That is very important and I am sure we will come back to this issue because it is not likely to change in the short term.

 
  
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  El Presidente. − Se cierra el debate.

Declaraciones por escrito (artículo 149 del Reglamento)

 
  
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  Indrek Tarand (Verts/ALE), in writing. – The EU regards itself as a champion of human rights and a defender of freedom of speech. Yet we are witnessing its ‘strategic partner’ fining, imprisoning or otherwise persecuting human-rights and environmental activists and civil society at large. Meanwhile, the EU is not only conducting business as usual with Russia, but actually selling it more weapons. I fear that this approach to the problems regarding Russia will bring nothing of use to future EU-Russia relations.

Ceterum censeo, France has sold a Mistral-class warship to Russia, and I am convinced that it will regret its action.

 
  
  

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