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Thursday, 10 May 2007 - Brussels
EU-Russia summit

European Parliament resolution of 10 May 2007 on the EU-Russia Summit to be held in Samara on 18 May 2007

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement between the European Communities and their Member States, of the one part, and the Russian Federation, of the other part(1), which entered into force in 1997 and expires in 2007,

–   having regard to the objective of the EU and Russia, set out in the joint statement issued following the St Petersburg Summit held on 31 May 2003, to set up a common economic space, a common space of freedom, security and justice, a common space of cooperation in the field of external security and a common space of research and education, including cultural aspects,

–   having regard to the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms and its five protocols,

–   having regard to the EU-Russia human rights dialogue,

–   having regard to the public statement concerning the Chechen Republic of the Russian Federation made on 13 March 2007 by the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment of the Council of Europe,

–   having regard to the EU Presidency Statement of 2 May 2007 on the situation in front of the Estonian embassy in Moscow,

–   having regard to the Communication from the Commission to the European Council and the European Parliament of 10 January 2007 entitled 'An Energy Policy for Europe' (COM(2007)0001),

–   having regard to its resolution of 23 March 2006 on security of energy supply in the European Union(2),

–   having regard to its previous resolutions on Russia, and in particular

   its resolution of 26 April 2007 on the recent repression of demonstrations in Russia(3),
   its resolution of 13 December 2006 on the EU-Russia Summit held in Helsinki on 24 November 2006(4),
   its resolution of 25 October 2006 on EU-Russia relations following the murder of the Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya(5),
   its resolution of 15 June 2006 on the EU-Russia Summit held in Sochi on 25 May 2006(6),
   its resolution of 19 January 2006 on Chechnya after the elections and civil society in Russia(7),
   its resolution of 15 December 2005 on human rights in Russia and the new NGO legislation(8), and
   its resolution of 26 May 2005 on EU-Russia relations(9),

–   having regard to the 19th EU-Russia Summit, to be held in Samara on 18 May 2007,

–   having regard to Rule 103(4) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.   whereas relations between the EU and Russia have been steadily developing over the past few years, leading to deep and comprehensive economic integration and interdependency, which is bound to increase even more in the near future,

B.   whereas enhanced cooperation and good-neighbourly relations between the EU and Russia are of key importance to the stability, security and prosperity of the whole of Europe and its neighbour states,

C.   whereas the Russian Federation is a Member of the Council of Europe and thus has committed itself to the objectives of that organisation, which are to promote democracy and consolidate democratic stability in Europe,

D.   whereas there is widespread concern over democracy and human rights in Russia, over the independence of the judiciary, as exemplified by the Yukos case, over increased control of the media, over the inability of the Russian police and judicial authorities to find those responsible for murders of journalists and over repressive measures taken against the opposition,

E.   whereas serious human rights violations in the form of murder, enforced disappearance, torture, hostage-taking and arbitrary detention are still occurring in the Chechen Republic,

F.   whereas so far the EU-Russia human rights consultations have not brought about any substantial progress in this field, which should be a priority in EU-Russia relations,

G.   whereas the rapid and full implementation of all four common spaces, mentioned above, should be at the heart of the negotiations on the new Partnership and Cooperation Agreement,

H.   whereas the underlying principles governing economic and trade relations between the EU and the Russian Federation should be reciprocity, transparency, predictability, reliability, non-discrimination and good governance,

I.   whereas a future agreement between the EU and the Russian Federation should include principles of the Energy Charter Treaty aimed at reinvigorating ties and should ease European worries that Russia is using its vast energy resources as a political weapon,

J.   whereas on 19 April 2007 the Justice and Home Affairs Council approved the conclusion of two agreements on visa facilitation and readmission of illegal immigrants, and whereas talks were opened on 22 April 2007 on achieving visa-free travel, signalling concrete progress on the common space of freedom, security and justice,

K.   whereas Russia has signed and ratified the Kyoto Protocol to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change,

L.   whereas the conclusion of a new Partnership and Cooperation Agreement between the EU and the Russian Federation is of the utmost importance for their future cooperation, in particular with regard to the further development of economic relations, to the further enhancement of security and stability in Europe and to the further strengthening of respect for human rights, democracy and the rule of law as the basis of this cooperation,

M.   whereas the start of the negotiations on the new Partnership and Cooperation Agreement has been delayed and made conditional upon the Russian Government lifting a ban on Polish imports introduced in 2005; whereas efforts are being made by the EU to find a compromise on the Polish meat imports issue, in order to end this political impasse,

N.   whereas, following recent events in Estonia, the normal functioning of the Estonian embassy in Moscow has been blocked and several of its diplomats, including the head of the mission, have been physically attacked by demonstrators surrounding the embassy and burning the Estonian flag,

O.   whereas no substantial progress has been made as regards the solution of the 'frozen conflicts' in common neighbouring countries; whereas peace and stability are in the interests of both Russia and the EU,

P.   whereas it is important that the EU speak with one voice, show solidarity and display unity in its relations with the Russian Federation, and base those relations on mutual interests and common values,

1.  Reconfirms its conviction that Russia remains an important partner for the purpose of building strategic cooperation, with which the EU shares not only economic and trade interests but also the objective of cooperating closely in the international arena as well as in the common neighbourhood;

2.  Stresses the importance of strengthening unity and solidarity among the EU Member States in their relations with Russia; welcomes, therefore, the common line taken by the EU in the negotiations with the Russian Government on the lifting of Russia's ban on imports of Polish agricultural products;

3.  Regrets the breakdown of those negotiations and the subsequent failure to launch negotiations on a new Partnership and Cooperation Agreement between the EU and Russia, and encourages the German Presidency to continue its efforts to enable the negotiating mandate for a new agreement to be adopted as soon as possible and to start negotiations without further delay;

4.  Calls on the European Union to demonstrate solidarity with Estonia and speak to Russia with one voice in the context of recent events in Tallinn; calls on Russia to fully respect its obligations under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations by guaranteeing the protection of foreign diplomats and the normal functioning of foreign embassies;

5.  Welcomes the continuous exchange of views on human rights in Russia as part of the EU-Russia human rights consultations; emphasises, however, that the current situation in Russia gives rise to serious concern in terms of respect for human rights, democracy, freedom of expression and the rights of civil society and individuals to challenge authorities and hold them accountable for their actions;

6.  Reiterates its view that a robust defence of human rights and democratic values should be a core principle of any EU engagement with Russia; urges the Commission to ensure that these values do not have a subsidiary status in the EU-Russia negotiating package and that any financial assistance granted to the Russian authorities takes into consideration the strengthening of democratic standards in that country;

7.  Expresses its deep concern about the use of force by the Russian authorities against peaceful anti-government demonstrators in Moscow and St Petersburg over the past few weeks; stresses that freedom of speech and the right of assembly are fundamental human rights and that, therefore, a continuation of this tendency will be in violation of their international obligations;

8.  Expresses its deep concern at the continuing reports from Russian and international human rights organisations about the use of torture and the commission of inhumane and degrading acts in prisons, police stations and secret detention centres in Chechnya, strongly condemns such practices and calls on the Russian authorities to ensure that the rights guaranteed by the European Convention on Human Rights, to which Russia is a signatory, are fully respected in the Chechen Republic and that all those who violate those rights are brought to justice; underlines in this regard the fact that that the Russian Government has rejected the mandate conferred in October 2006 on the UN Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, who planned to visit prisons in North Caucasus without prior notice;

9.  Expresses its concern about social and political polarisation and the restriction of democratic freedoms in the run-up to the Duma elections in December 2007 and the presidential elections in March 2008; calls on the Russian authorities to guarantee a free and fair process for both elections in order to ensure that the opposition parties have the opportunity to campaign, as well as halting the process of depriving some political parties of their legal status and their eligibility to participate in the elections due to exceedingly demanding new requirements applicable to their membership as well as the extent of their territorial organisation, and abiding by the principle of freedom of expression; stresses that freedom of the media will be of key importance if the elections are to be seen as free and fair; underlines the importance of NGOs independent of national governments for the development of civil society;

10.  Emphasises the need to work together with Russia as a necessary and important partner to ensure peace, stability and security, to combat international terrorism and violent extremism, and to address other security issues such as environmental and nuclear hazards, drugs, trafficking in arms and human beings and cross-border organised crime in the European neighbourhood;

11.  Calls on the Commission and the Council to pursue joint initiatives with the Russian Government aimed at strengthening security and stability in the common neighbourhood, in particular by means of enhanced dialogue over Ukraine and Belarus and joint efforts to finally resolve the frozen conflicts in Nagorno Karabakh as well as in Moldova and Georgia by guaranteeing the full territorial integrity of those states;

12.  Calls on the EU and on Russia, as a member of the UN Security Council, to assume their responsibility for the Iranian nuclear issue;

13.  Expresses its concern about declarations made by President Putin in reaction to the United States' plans to deploy components of its anti-ballistic missile system in Poland and the Czech Republic and calls on all parties involved to engage in dialogue; calls on the US to increase its efforts to consult and explain its planned missile defence system in order to allow NATO and the EU to remain united; demands a thorough discussion of these proposals, including the need for them, a threat assessment and the possibility of different areas of security both in the EU and NATO frameworks; stresses the importance of consulting on the system within the NATO-Russia Council;

14.  Calls on the EU and Russia, as members of the Quartet to assume their responsibility for the resolution of the Middle East conflict and to promote efforts to hold an international peace conference on a regional Middle East peace; calls further on Russia, as a member of the Contact Group and on the UN Security Council to cooperate in finding a lasting solution to the Kosovo question and, as one of the parties to the Six Party Talks, to help find a solution to the problem of nuclear proliferation in North Korea;

15.  Calls on Russia not to delay further the decision on the final status of Kosovo based on the Ahtisaari Plan for supervised independence; draws attention to the repercussions that such a delay could have on the stability of the region and urges the Moscow authorities to act in a constructive way;

16.  Notes that the European Neighbourhood Policy already presents a number of opportunities for multilateral cooperation; calls for the setting-up of an EU-Black Sea Community, along the lines of the Northern Dimension, to enhance and encourage greater dialogue for a more stable, secure and democratic neighbourhood;

17.  Welcomes the progress concerning the Latvia-Russia border agreement but underlines that further progress must be made to secure ratification and implementation of the border agreement between Russia and Estonia as soon as possible;

18.  Reiterates its support for Russian membership of the WTO, which will help Russia to come to terms with the rules on the global market; believes that WTO accession should lead to deeper economic integration between the EU and Russia;

19.  Reiterates, moreover, the importance of setting up the Common Economic Space (CES) and further developing the objectives agreed upon in the CES Road Map, especially as regards the creation of an open and integrated market between the EU and Russia; expects that Russia will lift the embargo on some Moldovan and Georgian products;

20.  Stresses the importance of improving the investment climate in Russia, which can only be achieved by promoting and facilitating non-discriminatory and transparent business conditions, less bureaucracy and two-way investment; is concerned about the lack of predictability in the application of rules by authorities;

21.  Welcomes the intensified EU-Russia dialogue on energy issues; underlines the importance of energy imports for European economies, representing as they do a potential opportunity for further trade and economic cooperation between the EU and Russia; stresses that the principles of interdependence and transparency should be the basis of such cooperation, together with equal access to markets, infrastructure and investment; calls on the Council and the Commission to ensure that the principles of the Energy Charter Treaty, the Transit Protocol annexed thereto and the G8 conclusions are included in a new Partnership and Cooperation Agreement between the EU and Russia, including further cooperation on energy efficiency, energy saving and renewable energy; points out that these principles should be applied to major energy infrastructure projects, such as the Baltic gas pipeline; calls for the European Union to speak to Russia with one voice on these sensitive energy matters;

22.  Advocates the exchange of information on advanced energy technologies and encourages contacts between EU and Russian energy sector actors, as well the efforts necessary to improve energy efficiency and to develop non-CO2-emitting technologies, which present significant opportunities for cooperation, particularly industrial cooperation, with the exchange of best practices and technologies between Russian and EU companies;

23.  Calls upon Russia and the EU Member States to reach the prescribed targets of the Kyoto Protocol and insists, in this respect, on the specific responsibility of developed countries to take the lead in reducing emissions; calls on Russia to play an active role in future international negotiations and to facilitate a swift agreement by 2008, and by 2009 at the latest, to ensure continuity of the global carbon market;

24.  Welcomes the initiatives to achieve visa-free travel between the European Union and Russia, holding out the prospect of improved relations; calls for further cooperation on illegal immigration, improved checks on identity documents and better information exchange on terrorism and organised crime; emphasises that the Council and the Commission must ensure that Russia complies with all the conditions set in any negotiated agreement on the elimination of visas between the two sides, so as to prevent any breach of security and democracy in Europe;

25.  Calls on the Council and the Commission to redouble their efforts to solve the problems involved in crossing the EU-Russian border and to engage in concrete projects and fully utilise the new Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument and INTERREG funds for cross-border cooperation;

26.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Governments and Parliaments of the Member States and of the Russian Federation and the Council of Europe.

(1) OJ L 327, 28.11.1997, p. 1.
(2) OJ C 292 E, 1.12.2006, p. 112..
(3) Texts Adopted, P6_TA(2007)0169.
(4) Texts Adopted, P6_TA(2006)0566.
(5) Texts Adopted, P6_TA(2006)0448.
(6) Texts Adopted, P6_TA(2006)0270.
(7) OJ C 287 E, 24.11.2006, p. 302.
(8) OJ C 286 E, 23.11.2006, p. 525.
(9) OJ C 117 E, 18.5.2006, p. 235.

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