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 Full text 
Tuesday, 9 June 2015 - Strasbourg Revised edition

State of EU-Russia relations (debate)

  Charles Tannock (ECR). Mr President, in 1999 Putin swept to power in Russia, offering to bring order to the chaos, and we thought we would see Russia becoming part of a Western, democratic system. This was in the heady days when we were still busy celebrating the end of the Cold War. In our haste, it seems that we overlooked some of the small print that Putin had included in the text.

Now we can see that his real goal was to recreate, by force if necessary, a crony capitalist version of the Soviet Union. Where Putin has not succeeded in bullying his neighbours into joining the Eurasian Customs Union, he has spread war and chaos. In 2008 he invaded Georgia and now he is invading Ukraine, after annexing Crimea.

Such ambitions, as recently declared by the G7, must have clear and serious repercussions in our relations with Russia. I have always been a strong supporter of EU sanctions, which must continue for as long as a threat to Ukraine remains. Putin rages against a unipolar world: what he intends, in reality, is the unravelling of the post-war settlements, based on the rule of law and human rights, in favour of the ‘might is right’ dogma.

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