European Parliament: Russia can no longer be considered a ‘strategic partner’

European Parliament: Russia can no longer be considered a ‘strategic partner’

Ukrinform
Russia can no longer be considered a “strategic partner” of the European Union, and 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.

This is stated in the resolution on the state of EU-Russia political relations, which has been approved by the European Parliament on Tuesday, an Ukrinform correspondent reports.

The document, authored by Latvian parliamentarian Sandra Kalniete (EPP), was supported by 402 MEPs. In addition, 163 MEPs voted against and 89 MEPs abstained.

 “The European Parliament 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,” reads the resolution.

The EP stresses that under the present circumstances, Russia can no longer be considered a “strategic partner.”

Therefore, the MEPs call for reconsideration of the EU-Russia Partnership and Cooperation Agreement and for a critical, comprehensive re-assessment by the EU of its relations with the Russian Federation.

It is stressed in the resolution 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.

The document also emphasizes the necessity for consultations to be advanced within the Normandy format process, including a stronger EU role, and reiterates the EP’s support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine.

 “The European Parliament 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,” the resolution reads.

The MEPs support a mandate for deploying a UN peacekeeping force in this region of Eastern Ukraine and reiterate the call to appoint an EU Special Envoy for Crimea and the Donbas region.

The EP also expressed a deeply concern over 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.

The European Parliament also 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.

 “The European Parliament 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,” reads the resolution.

The MEPs underscore they are deeply concerned, inter alia, about the links between the Russian Government and the extreme right and populist nationalist parties and governments in the EU, such as in Hungary, that pose a threat to the fundamental values of the Union.

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