Full text 
Procedure : 2018/2158(INI)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : A8-0073/2019

Texts tabled :


Debates :

PV 11/03/2019 - 23
CRE 11/03/2019 - 23

Votes :

PV 12/03/2019 - 9.23
CRE 12/03/2019 - 9.23
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :


Texts adopted
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Tuesday, 12 March 2019 - Strasbourg
State of EU-Russia political relations

European Parliament resolution of 12 March 2019 on the state of EU-Russia political relations (2018/2158(INI))

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to its resolution of 10 June 2015 on the state of EU-Russia relations(1),

–  having regard to the agreements reached in Minsk on 5 and 19 September 2014 and on 12 February 2015(2),

–  having regard to its previous resolutions, in particular that of 14 June 2018 on Georgian occupied territories 10 years after the Russian invasion(3), as well as of 4 February 2016 on the human rights situation in Crimea, in particular of the Crimean Tatars(4),

–  having regard to its recommendation to the Council of 2 April 2014 on establishing common visa restrictions for Russian officials involved in the Sergei Magnistky case(5),

–  having regard to the Foreign Affairs Council conclusions on Russia of 14 March 2016,

–  having regard to the 2018 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought awarded to the Ukrainian filmmaker Oleg Sentsov,

–  having regard to its resolution of 14 June 2018 on Russia, notably the case of Ukrainian political prisoner Oleg Sentsov(6),

–  having regard to its resolution of 25 October 2018 on the situation in the Sea of Azov(7),

–  having regard to the OSCE/Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) Final Report on the 18 March 2018 Presidential Elections in the Russian Federation,

–  having regard to Rule 52 of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Foreign Affairs (A8-0073/2019),

A.  whereas the EU is a community based on a key set of common values that include peace, freedom, democracy, the rule of law, and respect for fundamental and human rights;

B.  whereas it acknowledges that the principles enshrined in the UN Charter, the 1975 Helsinki Final Act and the 1990 OSCE Charter of Paris represent the cornerstones of a peaceful European continent;

C.  whereas those values form the basis of the EU’s relations with third parties;

D.  whereas the EU’s relations with Russia must be based on the principles of international law, respect for human rights, democracy and peaceful conflict resolution, and, as a result of Russia’s disregard of these principles, the EU’s relations with Russia are currently based on cooperation in selected areas of common interest as defined in the Foreign Affairs Council conclusions of 14 March 2016 and on credible deterrence;

E.  whereas the EU remains open to a stronger relationship and to dialogue leading thereto, and wishes to return to cooperative relations with Russia, once the Russian authorities have met their international and legal obligations and have proven Russia’s genuine commitment to restore broken trust; whereas a constructive and predictable relationship would be mutually beneficial and ideally in the interest of both parties;

F.  whereas the Russian Federation, as a full member of the Council of Europe and the OSCE, has committed itself to the principles of democracy, the rule of law and respect for human rights; whereas continued serious violations of the rule of law and the adoption of restrictive laws over the last few years are increasingly calling Russia’s compliance with its international and national obligations into question; whereas Russia has failed to implement more than a thousand judgements of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR);

G.  whereas a number of governmental reports show the sharp increase in hostile spying activity by Russia in recent years, reaching levels not seen since the Cold War;

H.  whereas the full implementation of the Minsk Agreements and broader respect for international law remain key preconditions for closer cooperation with Russia; whereas in reaction to the illegal annexation of Crimea and the hybrid war against Ukraine by Russia, the EU has adopted a series of restrictive measures that should remain in place until the Minsk Agreements have been fulfilled;

I.  whereas new areas of tension between the EU and Russia have arisen since 2015, including: Russian intervention in Syria and interference in countries such as Libya and Central African Republic; large-scale military exercises (Zapad 2017); Russian interference aimed at influencing elections and referenda and stoking tensions in European societies; Kremlin support for anti-EU parties and far‑right movements; restrictions on fundamental freedoms and extensive human rights violations in Russia, the spreading of anti-LGTBI sentiment; the crackdown against political opposition; the systemic targeting of human rights defenders, journalists and civil society in Russia, including the arbitrary detention of Oyub Titiev, head of the Human Rights Centre Memorial (HRC Memorial) office in Chechnya or the case of Yury Dmitriev from the Karelian branch of Memorial; the stigmatisation of civil society activists by labelling them as ‘Foreign Agents’; gross violations of human rights in the North Caucasus, in particular in the Chechen Republic (abductions, torture, extrajudicial executions, fabrication of criminal cases, etc.); discrimination against the Tatar minority in occupied Crimea, and the politically motivated persecution of Alexei Navalny and many others, as well as killings, the most notable cases being those of Boris Nemtsov and Sergei Magnitsky; cyber and hybrid attacks and assassinations on European soil carried out by Russian intelligence agents using chemical weapons; the intimidation, arrest and imprisonment of foreign citizens in Russia in breach of international law, including the 2018 Sakharov Prize laureate Oleg Sentsov and many others; the organisation of illegal and illegitimate elections in the Donbas; the holding of non-democratic presidential elections lacking any real choice and with restrictions on fundamental freedoms; disinformation campaigns, the illegal construction of the Kerch Bridge; large-scale militarisation of illegally occupied and annexed Crimea, as well as parts of the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov; restrictions on international navigation in the Sea of Azov and through the Kerch Strait, including ships sailing under the flags of EU Member States; the illegal attack on and seizure of Ukrainian naval vessels and the arrest of Ukrainian servicemen in the Kerch Strait; violations of arms control agreements; the oppressive climate for journalists and the independent media with continued detentions of journalists and bloggers; and the World Press Freedom Index ranking of Russia at 148 out of 180 on media freedom in 2018;

J.  whereas by 1 March 2018, HRC Memorial had recorded 143 cases of political prisoners, including 97 who were being persecuted on religious grounds; whereas an analysis of HRC Memorial’s list of political prisoners shows that in 2017, there were 23 cases of people being prosecuted for crimes relating to public events (mass riots, violent actions against a public authority), and there were 21 cases, mostly linked to publishing posts on the Internet, of prosecutions being initiated under the ‘anti-extremist’ articles of the criminal code;

K.  whereas Russia is directly or indirectly party to a number of protracted conflicts in the common neighbourhood – in Transnistria, South Ossetia, Abkhazia, Donbas and Nagorno Karabakh – that constitute serious impediments to the development and stability of the neighbouring countries concerned, undermine their independence and limit their free sovereign choices;

L.  whereas the conflict in Eastern Ukraine has lasted more than four years and claimed over 10 000 lives, almost one third of them civilians, and thousands of conflict-related civilian injuries;

M.  whereas the current persistent tensions and confrontation between the EU and Russia are not in the interests of either party; whereas the communication channels should remain open in spite of the disappointing results; whereas the new division of the continent jeopardises the security of both the EU and Russia;

N.  whereas Russia is currently the EU’s most important external supplier of natural gas; whereas energy continues to play a central and strategic role in EU-Russia relations; whereas Russia uses energy as a means to protect and promote its foreign policy interests; whereas the EU’s dependency on Russian gas supplies has increased since 2015; whereas the EU’s resilience to external pressures can be built up through the diversification of energy supply and a decrease in its dependence on Russia; whereas the EU must speak with one voice and show strong internal solidarity when it comes to its energy security; whereas the EU’s strong dependence on fossil fuels undermines the development of a balanced, coherent and value-driven European approach vis-à-vis Russia; whereas there is a need for a more reliable and strategic energy infrastructure in the EU, Member States and Eastern Partnership (EaP) countries in order to enhance resilience to Russian hybrid activity;

O.  whereas the irresponsible actions of Russian jet fighters near the airspace of EU and NATO Member States are jeopardising the safety of civilian flights and could be a threat to European airspace security; whereas provocative large-scale military manoeuvres have been conducted by Russia in the immediate vicinity of the EU;

P.  whereas Russia continues to ignore judgments of the ECtHR, as well as binding awards by the Permanent Court of Arbitration such as in the case of Naftogaz, which undermines the international trade dispute settlement mechanisms;

Q.  whereas Russia’s polycentric vision of the concert of powers contradicts the EU’s belief in multilateralism and a rules-based international order; whereas Russia’s adherence to and support for the multilateral rules-based order would create the conditions for closer relations with the EU;

R.  whereas the Russian authorities continue to treat illegally occupied regions as if they were an internal part of Russian territory by allowing the participation of representatives of these territories in the legislative and executive bodies of the Russian Federation, which is in violation of international law;

S.  whereas on 21 December 2018, the Council, having assessed the implementation of the Minsk Agreements, prolonged the economic sanctions targeting specific sectors of the Russian economy until 31 July 2019;

T.  whereas Russia’s actions are in breach of international law and commitments and good neighbourly relations;

U.  whereas in the strategic documents of the Russian Federation, the EU and NATO are portrayed as Russia’s primary adversaries;

Challenges and shared interests

1.  Underlines that Russia’s illegal occupation and annexation of Crimea, a region of Ukraine, its direct and indirect involvement in armed conflicts in the eastern part of Ukraine and its continuous violation of the territorial integrity of Georgia and Moldova constitute a deliberate violation of international law, democratic principles and fundamental values; strongly condemns human rights violations carried out by Russian representatives on the occupied territories;

2.  Stresses that the EU cannot envisage a gradual return to ‘business as usual’ until Russia fully implements the Minsk Agreement and restores the territorial integrity of Ukraine; calls, in this regard, for a critical, comprehensive re-assessment by the EU of its relations with the Russian Federation;

3.  Stresses that under the present circumstances, Russia can no longer be considered a ‘strategic partner’; is of the view that that the principles of Article 2 of the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA) are no longer being met, and that the PCA should therefore be reconsidered; believes that any framework for the EU-Russia relationship should be based on the full respect of international law, the Helsinki OSCE principles, democratic principles, human rights and the rule of law, and allow for dialogue on managing global challenges, the strengthening of global governance and ensuring enforcement of international rules, particularly with a view to guaranteeing European peace order, and security in EU’s neighbourhood and the Western Balkans;

4.  Believes that implementation of the Minsk Agreements would demonstrate Russia’s good will in contributing to resolving the conflict in Eastern Ukraine and its capacity to guarantee European security; stresses the necessity for consultations to be advanced within the Normandy format process, including a stronger EU role; reiterates its support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine;

5.  Believes in the importance of de-escalating current tensions and of engaging in consultations with Russia to reduce the risk of misunderstandings, misinterpretation and misreading; recognises, however, that the EU must be firm in relation to its expectations on Russia; underlines the importance of cooperation between the EU and Russia in the international rules‑based order and of positive engagement in the international and multilateral organisations that Russia is a member of, particularly in the framework of the OSCE with regard to the contentious issues and crises;

6.  Strongly condemns Russia’s involvement in the Skripal case, and in disinformation campaigns and cyber attacks carried out by the Russian intelligence services aimed at destabilising public and private communications infrastructure and at increasing tensions within the EU and its Member States;

7.  Is deeply concerned about the links between the Russian Government and the extreme right and populist nationalist parties and governments in the EU that pose a threat to the fundamental values of the Union, which are enshrined in Article 2 of the Treaty on European Union and reflected in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, including respect for democracy, equality, the rule of law and human rights;

8.  Regrets, furthermore, Russia’s efforts to destabilise EU candidate countries with regard, in particular and by way of an example, to the support provided by Moscow to the organisations and political forces opposing the Prespa Agreement that should end the long‑standing dispute on the name between the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Greece;

9.  Believes that Russian state actors interfered in the Brexit referendum campaign using overt and covert means, including social media and potentially illegal financial support, currently under investigation by the UK authorities;

10.  Emphasises that increased mutual transparency in military and border guard activities is important in order to avoid further tensions; strongly denounces Russia’s violation of the airspace of EU Member States; calls for a clear code of conduct concerning airspace used by military and civilian aircraft; strongly condemns, in this context, Russia’s repeated violations of territorial waters and the airspace of countries in the Baltic Sea region; condemns the Russian Federation for its responsibility in the shooting down of flight MH17 over Eastern Ukraine in 2014, as proved by an international team of investigators, and calls for those responsible to be brought to justice;

11.  Regrets the significant deterioration in the human rights situation, widespread and undue restrictions of the rights to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly in Russia, and expresses its deep concern at the ongoing crackdown on, and harassment and persecution of human rights defenders, protest activists and other critics;

12.  Is deeply concerned that Russia so manifestly demonstrates its military powers, articulates threats to other countries and manifests the willingness and readiness to use military force against other nations in real actions, including advanced nuclear weapons, as reiterated by President Putin on several occasions in 2018;

13.  Condemns the government’s continuing crackdown on dissent and media freedom, as well as the repression of activists, political opponents and those who openly express disagreement with the government;

14.  Expresses its concern at reports of arbitrary detention and torture of men perceived to be gay in Chechnya, and condemns the Chechen Government’s statements denying the existence of homosexuals in their country and inciting violence against LGBTI people;

15.  Highlights that the global challenges of climate change, the environment, energy security, digitalisation together with algorithmic decision making and artificial intelligence, foreign and security issues, the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and the fight against terrorism and organised crime, and developments in the sensitive Arctic environment, call for selective engagement with Russia;

16.  Expresses concern over the potentially hundreds of billions of euros being laundered through the EU every year by Russian companies and individuals looking to legitimise the proceeds of corruption, and calls for investigations into these crimes;

17.  Underlines that money laundering and organised criminal financial activities by Russia are being used for subversive political purposes and pose a threat to European security and stability; considers the magnitude of this money laundering to be such as to form part of the hostile activities intended to undermine, misinform and destabilise, while at the same time sustaining criminal activities and corruption; notes that Russian money laundering activities within the EU constitute a threat to sovereignty and the rule of law in all Member States where Russia operates such activities; states that this is a threat to European security and stability, and a major challenge to the European Union’s Common Foreign and Security Policy;

18.  Condemns money laundering activities, illegal financial activities and other means of economic warfare by Russia; calls for competent financial authorities in the EU to step up cooperation both with each other and with the relevant intelligence and security services, in order to tackle Russian money laundering activities;

19.  Reiterates that while the EU’s stance is firm, coherent and concerted with respect to EU sanctions on Russia, which will be prolonged as long as Russian violations of international law continue, further coordination and coherence is required in its foreign and security policy approach to Russia; calls, in this context, on Member States to end ‘golden visa/passport’ programmes which benefit Russian oligarchs who are often Kremlin supporters, and may undermine the effectiveness of international sanctions; reiterates its previous calls for a European Magnitsky Act (the EU Global Human Rights Sanctions Regime), and calls on the Council to pursue its work on this matter without undue delay; calls on the Member States to fully cooperate at European level with regard to their policy towards Russia;

20.  Stresses that the restrictive targeted measures relating to Eastern Ukraine and occupied Crimea are not directed against the Russian people but against certain individuals and enterprises connected to the Russian leadership;

21.  Underlines, in this regard, that coherence between its internal and external policies and better coordination of the latter is the key to a more coherent, effective and successful EU external and security policy, including vis-à-vis Russia; stresses that this applies in particular to policy areas such as the European Defence Union, the European Energy Union, cyber defence and strategic communication tools;

22.  Condemns Russia’s violation of the territorial integrity of neighbouring countries including through the illegal kidnapping of citizens of those countries so that they can be charged before a Russian court; further condemns Russia’s abuse of Interpol by issuing ‘wanted person alerts’ – so‑called ‘red notices’ – to persecute political opponents;

23.  Condemns Russia’s actions in the Sea of Azov in so far as they constitute a breach of international maritime law and Russia’s international commitments, as well as the building of the Kerch Bridge and the laying of underwater cables to the illegally annexed Crimean peninsula without the consent of Ukraine; remains deeply concerned about the Russian militarisation of the Sea of Azov, the Black Sea region and Kaliningrad District, as well as the recurring pattern of violating the territorial waters of European countries in the Baltic Sea;

24.  Reaffirms its unequivocal support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia; demands that the Russian Federation cease its occupation of the Georgian territories of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia and fully respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia; stresses the need for the Russian Federation to unconditionally fulfil all the provisions of the ceasefire agreement of 12 August 2008, in particular the commitment to withdrawing all its military forces from the territory of Georgia;

25.  Underscores that Russia’s disregard of international rules – in this case the freedom of the seas, bilateral agreements and the illegal annexation of Crimea – poses a threat to Russia’s neighbours in all parts of Europe, not only in the Black Sea region, but also in the Baltic Sea region and the Mediterranean; highlights the importance of developing a firm policy towards Russia in all these respects;

26.  Notes that the Presidential elections of 18 March 2018 were observed by the International Election Observation Mission (IEOM) of the ODIHR EOM and the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly (OSCE PA); notes that the ODIHR Election Observation Mission Final Report states that elections took place in an overly controlled legal and political environment marked by continued pressure on critical voices and restrictions being placed on the fundamental freedoms of assembly, association and expression, as well as on candidate registration, and therefore lacked genuine competition;

27.  Is concerned about the continuous Russian support for authoritarian regimes and countries such as North Korea, Iran, Venezuela, Syria, Cuba, Nicaragua and others, and its ongoing practice of blocking any international action by using its veto powers in the UN Security Council (UNSC);

Areas of common interest

28.  Reiterates its support for the five principles guiding the EU’s policy towards Russia, and calls for further definition of the selective engagement principle; recommends that the focus be placed on issues relating to the MENA and the Northern and Arctic region, terrorism, violent extremism, non-proliferation, arms control, strategic stability in the cyber sphere, organised crime, migration and climate change, including joint efforts to safeguard the UNSC-endorsed Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) with Iran, and bringing an end to the war in Syria; reiterates that while consultations between the EU and Russia on cyber terrorism and organised crime need to continue, Russia’s systematic hybrid threats require strong deterrence; calls, in this context, for an EU-Russia-China-Central Asia dialogue on connectivity;

29.  Underlines that the EU is currently Russia’s largest trading partner and will keep its position as key economic partner for the foreseeable future, but that Nord Stream 2 reinforces EU dependency on Russian gas supplies, threatens the EU internal market and is not in line with EU energy policy or its strategic interests, and therefore needs to be stopped; emphasises that the EU remains committed to completing the European Energy Union and diversifying its energy resources; underlines that no new projects should be implemented without a prior legal assessment of their legal conformity with EU law and with the agreed political priorities; deplores Russia’s policy of using its energy resources as a political tool to exert, maintain and increase its political influence over and pressure on its perceived sphere of influence and end-consumers;

30.  Underlines that EU-Russia cross-border cooperation programmes and the constructive cooperation in the Northern Dimension Partnerships and in the Barents-Euro-Arctic bring tangible benefits to the citizens of cross-border areas and support the sustainable development of these areas; recommends, in this context, that all of these positive areas of constructive cooperation continue to be fostered;

31.  Notes the importance of people-to-people contacts, for example through education and culture;

32.  Calls on the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and on the Member States to strengthen their efforts towards a resolution of the so-called ‘frozen conflicts’ in the Eastern neighbourhood, in order to ensure greater security and stability for the EU’s Eastern partners;


33.  Stresses the importance of continued political and financial support for people-to-people contacts in general and, in particular, for civil society activists, human rights defenders, bloggers, independent media, investigative journalists, outspoken academics and public figures, and NGOs; calls on the Commission to programme more ambitious and long-term financial, institutional and capacity building assistance to Russian civil society from the existing external financial instruments, and calls on the Member States to further contribute to this assistance; encourages the Member States to actively implement the EU guidelines on human rights defenders by providing effective and timely support and protection to human rights defenders, journalists and other activists; particularly encourages Member States to issue long-term visas to human rights defenders at risk and their family members; supports increased funding for journalist training and exchanges with European journalists and for instruments that advance human rights and democracy, such as the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR) and the European Endowment for Democracy (EED);

34.  Calls for more people-to-people contacts with a focus on young people, on reinforcing dialogue and cooperation between EU and Russian experts, researchers, civil societies and local authorities and for intensified student, vocational trainee and youth exchanges, particularly in the Erasmus+ framework; supports, in this context, increased funding for the new Erasmus + programmes 2021-2027; notes that the EU provides the highest number of academic mobility opportunities to Russia in comparison with other international partner countries;

35.  Calls for the unconditional release of all human rights defenders and other persons detained for peacefully exercising their rights to freedom of expression, assembly and association, including of the Director of the Memorial HRC in the Chechen Republic, Oyub Titiev, who is on trial on the basis of fabricated charges of drug possession; urges the Russian authorities to ensure full respect for their human and legal rights, including access to a lawyer and medical care, physical integrity and dignity, and protection from judicial harassment, criminalisation and arbitrary arrest;

36.  Notes that civil society organisations are often too weak to have a substantial impact on the fight against corruption in Russia, while NGOs are systematically discouraged from actively engaging in any anti-corruption efforts or promoting public integrity; underlines that it is necessary to involve civil society in the independent monitoring of the effectiveness of anti-corruption policies; calls on Russia to correctly implement international anti-corruption standards formulated in, for example, the UN Convention against Corruption and the OECD Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions (the Anti-Bribery Convention);

37.  Underlines that the promotion of human rights and the rule of law must be at the core of the EU’s engagement with Russia; calls, therefore, for the EU and the Member States to continue bringing up human rights issues in all contacts with Russian officials; encourages the EU to continuously call on Russia to repeal or amend all laws and regulations incompatible with international human rights standards, including provisions restricting the right to freedom of expression, assembly and association;

38.  Expresses its conviction that Russia’s membership in the Council of Europe is an important element of the present landscape of institutional relations in Europe; hopes that ways can be found to convince Russia of not abandoning its Council of Europe membership;

39.  Condemns the attempts by the Russian Government to block internet messaging services and websites; urges the Russian Government to uphold the fundamental rights to freedom of expression and privacy online as well as offline;

40.  Calls for the EU institutions and Member States to make greater efforts to build resilience, particularly in the cyber and media fields, including mechanisms to detect and fight election interference; calls for resilience against cyberattacks to be increased; expresses deep concern that the EU reaction and response to the Russian propaganda campaign and massive direct disinformation attacks has been insufficient and should be further strengthened, in particular before the upcoming European elections in May 2019; stresses, in this context, that EU funding and human resources for the East Stratcom Task Force must be substantially increased; calls for EU-wide support for the European cyber-security industry, a functioning digital internal market and a stronger engagement in research; encourages, in this context, the promotion of European values in Russian by East Stratcom; welcomes the adoption of EU Action Plan against Disinformation, and calls on Member States and all relevant EU actors to implement its actions and measures, in particular in the run‑up to the upcoming European elections in May 2019;

41.  Calls for the EU to consider developing a binding legal framework, both at EU and international level, for tackling hybrid warfare that would allow for a robust response by the Union to campaigns that threaten democracy or the rule of law, including targeted sanctions against those responsible for orchestrating and implementing these campaigns;

42.  Believes that meaningful dialogue requires firmer unity among Member States and clearer communication of the red lines on the EU side; stresses, therefore, that the EU should stand ready to adopt further sanctions, including targeted personal sanctions, and limiting access to finances and technology if Russia’s violation of international law continues; stresses, however, that such measures are not against the Russian people but targeted individuals; calls on the Council to carry out an in-depth analysis of the efficiency and strictness of the sanctions regime in place; welcomes the Council’s decision to impose restrictive measures on European companies involved in the illegal construction of the Kerch Bridge; reiterates its concern at the involvement of these companies which, through this involvement, either knowingly or unknowingly undermined the EU sanctions regime; calls on the Commission, in this context, to assess and verify the application of the EU restrictive measures in force, and on the Member States to share information regarding any national customs or criminal investigations into cases of potential violations;

43.  Calls for an EU-wide mechanism allowing the screening of political parties’ funding, and for subsequent measures to be taken to avoid some parties and movements being used to destabilise the European project from within;

44.  Condemns the increasing scope and number of Russian military drills, where Russian forces practice offensive scenarios with the use of nuclear weapons;

45.  Urges the Commission and the European External Action Service (EEAS) to prepare without delay a legislative proposal for an EU-wide Magnitsky Act which would allow the imposition of visa bans and targeted sanctions, such as blocking property and interests in property within the EU’s jurisdiction on individual public officials or persons acting in an official capacity, who are responsible for acts of corruption or serious human rights violations; stresses the importance of an immediate sanctions list in order to secure the effective implementation of a European Magnitsky Act;

46.  Calls for the EU to verify the application of the EU restrictive measures in force, as well as the sharing of information between Member States, in order to ensure that the EU sanctions regime against Russia’s actions is not undermined, but applied in proportion to the threats posed by Russia; underlines the danger of weakening the sanctions without Russia demonstrating through clear actions, not only in words, that it respects the borders of Europe and the sovereignty of its neighbours and other nations, as well as international rules and agreements; reiterates that business as usual only can be possible once Russia fully respects the rules and restricts itself to acting in a peaceful manner;

47.  Reiterates that Russia has no right of veto over the Euro-Atlantic aspirations of European nations;

48.  Calls on the Commission to closely monitor the consequences of Russian counter-sanctions on economic actors and, if needed, consider compensatory measures;

49.  Underlines that there can only be political solutions to the conflict in Eastern Ukraine; encourages confidence-building measures in the Donbas region; supports a mandate for deploying a UN peacekeeping force in this region of Eastern Ukraine; reiterates its call to appoint an EU Special Envoy for Crimea and the Donbas region;

50.  Condemns the arbitrary measure of banning EU politicians, among them current and former Members of the European Parliament, and EU officials from access to Russian territory; calls for the immediate and unconditional lifting of the entry ban;

51.  Calls on Russia to immediately release political prisoners, including foreign citizens, and journalists;

52.  Calls on Russia to cooperate fully in relation to the international investigation into the downing of flight MH17, which could possibly constitute a war crime; condemns any attempt or decision to grant amnesty to, or delay the prosecution of, those identified as responsible, as the perpetrators should be held to account;

53.  Calls on the Russian Government to refrain from blocking UNSC resolutions on the situation in Syria that seek to address the ongoing violence against civilians, including the use of chemical weapons, gross violations of the Geneva Conventions and violations of universal human rights;

54.  Supports the swift completion of an integrated European Energy Union that would in future include the Eastern Partners; stresses the role that an ambitious policy on energy efficiency and renewables can play in this regard; strongly condemns Russian pressure on Belarus to essentially renounce its independence; underlines that independently of advancing an EU-Russia strategy, the EU must reinforce its commitment and support for its Eastern Partners and support reforms to strengthen security and stability, democratic governance and the rule of law;

55.  Supports increased funding for the EED, the Russian Language News Exchange (RLNE) and other instruments to advance democracy and human rights in Russia and elsewhere;

56.  Calls on the Russian authorities to condemn Communism and the Soviet regime, and to punish the perpetrators of the crimes and offences committed under that regime;

o   o

57.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission and the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.

(1) OJ C 407, 4.11.2016, p. 35.
(2) ‘Protocol on the results of consultations of the Trilateral Contact Group’, signed on 5 September 2014, and ‘Package of measures for the Implementation of the Minsk Agreements’, adopted on 12 February 2015.
(3) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2018)0266.
(4) OJ C 35, 31.1.2018, p. 38.
(5) OJ C 408, 30.11.2017, p. 43.
(6) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2018)0259.
(7) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2018)0435.

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