Buzek calls for new free and fair elections in Russia
On the eve of the EU-Russia summit in Brussels, European Parliament President Jerzy Buzek called for new free and fair elections in Russia reflecting the resolution adopted in the European Parliament by a large majority in Strasbourg today:
The European Parliament calls for new free and fair elections and an immediate and full investigation of all reports of fraud and intimidation in the Russian parliamentary elections held on 4 December. The voice of the people protesting on the streets for more than one week must be heard.
Human rights and the freedom of expression cannot be played around with. The European Parliament wants a serious partner that shares our values of the rule of law, freedom and justice. We want a partner that responds to its people's rightful demands: free and peaceful protests must be allowed to take place. Russia must fully respect its own people.
The European Parliament remains concerned over the conduct and the aftermath of the recent parliamentary elections, especially reported fraud, lack of media impartiality, obstacles to freedom of association and lack of political competition. We deplore the harassment of independent monitors and the detention of peaceful protesters. All peaceful protestors should be released immediately.
Apart from the major themes on the agenda such as trade, energy, economic governance and regional security; the EU-Russia summit is an opportunity to focus on a frank exchange on the situation of democracy and human rights in Russia.
As much as I welcome Russia's imminent accession to the WTO, I call for a speeding up of the talks on a new comprehensive and legally binding agreement that includes all areas of our partnership including democracy, the rule of law and respect for human rights."
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