European Parliament adopted resolution on Russia. On 28 Apr 2021 the 80% + majority 569 votes were in favour, 67 against and with 46 abstentions. It was supported by MEP’s from all mainstream democratic party groups (socialists, liberals, Christian democrats and conservatives).
CEA’s Vice President Daniel Hinšt provides a summary and examples from the resolution.
- Seven years since the ILLEGAL ANNEXATION of the Crimean peninsula by the Russian Federation and the start of the war; the conflict has claimed the lives of more than 14 000 people and resulted in close to two million people becoming internally displaced persons; increased Russian military presence on the eastern and northern borders with Ukraine and in occupied Crimea; Russia announced the suspension of the right of innocent passage for warships and commercial vessels of other countries through the part of the Black Sea;
- While the rights to freedom of thought and speech, association, and peaceful assembly are enshrined in the Constitution of the Russian Federation, the SITUATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS and the rule of law continues to deteriorate in Russia; the Russian Federation is a signatory of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the ECHR, and is a member of the Council of Europe;
- In 2020 Russia ranked 129th out of 180 countries in the CORRUPTION Perceptions Index by Transparency International, ranking the lowest in Europe; KLEPTOCRATIC LINKS between oligarchs, security officers and officials linked to the Kremlin have been partially exposed by anticorruption activists;
- Russia’s outright attacks on EU Member States and societies manifested, inter alia, through interference in election processes, the use of DISINFORMATION, deep fakes, malicious CYBERATTACKS, sabotage and chemical weapons;
- The Russian Federation poses not only an external threat to EUROPEAN SECURITY, but is also waging an internal war on its own people in the form of the systematic oppression of the opposition and arrests on the streets; whereas on 21 April 2021 alone, the number of arrests of peaceful demonstrators reached more than 1 788, which adds up to an overall number of more than 15 000 innocent Russian citizens detained since January 2021; the poisoning of Navalny fits in with a pattern of action taken against Putin’s opponents;
- The Czech Republic expelled 18 Russian embassy staff on 17 April 2021, including members of the Russian intelligence agencies;
Policy direction of the Parliament:
- Strong support for the EU’s policy of non-recognition of the illegal annexation of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the City of Sevastopol; welcomes all of the restrictive measures taken by the EU as a consequence of the illegal annexation; calls for the immediate release of all ILLEGALLY DETAINED and imprisoned Ukrainian citizens in the Crimean peninsula and in Russia;
- Support for the international investigation into the circumstances of the tragic downing of the Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17, which could possibly constitute a war crime;
- EU should reduce its dependence on Russian energy, stop the completion of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline and stop to the construction of controversial nuclear power plants built by Rosatom;
- Calls for the EU to adopt an EU anti-corruption sanctions regime; underlines that EU Member States should no longer be welcoming places for Russian wealth and investments of unclear origin; calls on the Commission and the Council to increase efforts to curb the Kremlin’s strategic investments within the EU for the purposes of subversion, undermining democratic processes and institutions, and spreading corruption;
- Calls for the immediate and unconditional release of Alexei Navalny, whose sentencing is politically motivated and runs counter to Russia’s international human rights obligations; deplores the Russian authorities’ intention to declare the Anti-Corruption Foundation headed by Alexei Navalny an extremist organisation as baseless and discriminatory;
- Expresses its deep solidarity with the democratic forces in Russia committed to an open and free society, as well as its support for all individuals and organisations who have become targets of attacks and REPRESSION; urges the Russian authorities to stop all HARASSMENT, INTIMIDATION and attacks against the opposition, civil society, the media, human rights;
- Condemns PROPAGANDA and DISINFORMATION in the Russian press and its malicious spread to the EU, as well as the work of Russian troll farms, especially those currently defaming the Czech Republic by claiming that it is a satellite of US interests and not a sovereign country with independent information services; condemns the cyberattacks on the Czech strategic state administration institution in connection with Russian military ESPIONAGE;
- Calls on the Member States to coordinate their positions and actions vis-à-vis Russia and to speak with a UNIFIED VOICE; considers that the EU should seek further cooperation with like-minded partners, in particular NATO and the US;
- Calls on the EU Member States to act in a TIMELY manner and with resolve against disruptive actions by Russian intelligence services on the territory of the EU and to closely coordinate its proportionate response with TRANSATLANTIC PARTNERS; recommends that the Member States enhance COUNTERINTELLIGENCE cooperation and INFORMATION-SHARING;
- Calls on a new strategic approach to the EU’s relations with Russia, which must better support CIVIL SOCIETY, strengthen people-to-people contacts with the citizens of Russia, draw clear RED LINES for cooperation with Russian state actors, use technological standards and the open internet to support free spaces and restrict oppressive technologies, and demonstrate SOLIDARITY with the EU’s Eastern Partners.