15:55 10.06.2015

European Parliament says Russia is not a strategic partner – resolution

4 min read
European Parliament says Russia is not a strategic partner – resolution

The European Parliament, at a plenary session in Strasburg on Wednesday, passed a resolution on the relations of the EU with Russia.

The resolution recommends the revision of relations between the EU and Russia, countering Russian propaganda, assisting Russian civil society, and the creation of independent Russian-speaking media in the EU and abroad.

The draft resolution has been drawn up basing on a report of MEP Gabrielius Landsbergis of Lithuania.

The relations are to be reviewed due to the direct and indirect participation of Russian military and security services in the armed conflict in Ukraine, the illegal annexation of Crimea, the violation of Georgia´s territorial integrity and economic and political destabilization of neighbors of the EU.

MEPs believe that Russia has taken deliberate actions that violate principles of democracy and the rule of law.

The EU should draft, as promptly as possible, a soft-power contingency plan to counter the aggressive and divisive policies conducted by Russia.

"Russia, because of its actions in Crimea and in Eastern Ukraine, can no longer be treated as, or considered, a 'strategic partner'," reads the resolution.

"Russia now openly positions itself and acts as a challenger of the international democratic community and its law-based order, not least by seeking to redraw by force borders within Europe," reads the resolution.

MEPs are "alarmed by the growing atmosphere of hatred directed against opposition activists, human rights defenders, minorities and neighboring nations, and the deterioration in the situation of human rights and rule of law in Russia."

"EU-Russia relations must henceforth be based on respect for international law and a dialogue, whereby the EU would be ready to re-engage and re-launch cooperation with the authorities in Moscow in a number of specific fields of common interest," reads the resolution.

"A resumption of cooperation would be envisaged on the condition that Russia respects the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine, including Crimea, fully implements the Minsk Agreements (which include full control of the border by the Ukrainian authorities, the unconditional withdrawal of Russian troops and weapons, and an immediate halt to the provision of assistance to rebel groups), and stops destabilizing military and security activities at the EU Member States' borders."

"The use of energy as a political and diplomatic bargaining chip can only be combated effectively through the full application of EU energy legislation, and in particular the implementation of the Third Energy package and the completion of a free, transparent, integrated, synchronized, energy-efficient – with an adequate proportion of renewables – and resilient European internal energy market with diversified supply, and to which competition legislation must apply unequivocally," reads the document.

MEPs call on the commission to earmark without delay adequate funding for concrete projects aimed at countering Russian propaganda and misinformation within the EU and abroad and at providing objective information to the general public in Eastern partner countries, and to develop the appropriate instruments for strategic communication.

MEPs call on the Commission to make available adequate funding for initiatives developing Russian-language media alternatives to Russian state-controlled media, in order to provide Russian-speaking audiences with credible and independent sources of information.

MEPs are "deeply concerned at the ever more intensive contacts and cooperation, tolerated by the Russian leadership, between European populist, fascist and extreme right-wing parties on the one hand and nationalist groups in Russia on the other, recognizes that this represents a danger to democratic values and the rule of law in the EU; calls in this connection on the EU institutions and Member States to take action against this threat of an emerging ‘Nationalist International.’"

The resolution passed by the European Parliament is of a legislative character.

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