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EU-Russia Summit disregards demands of Russian people


16 Dec 2011


Europe's East
Global Europe

Yesterday's EU-Russia summit took place in the aftermath of highly contentious elections for the State Duma which have brought people out onto the streets of Moscow complaining of vote rigging and ballot stuffing. The European Parliament yesterday called for the elections to be re-run respecting the principles of freedom and fairness.

Guy Verhofstadt made the following statement:

"After the largest demonstration against blatant rigging of State Duma elections, the EU-Russia Summit yesterday seemed completely out of context. I welcome the agreed common steps towards visa free regime and agreement on Russian accession to the WTO as well as Russian intentions to contribute to the IMF in support of the eurozone bailout fund.

"But the results of this summit can only be measured against the backdrop of the situation developing inside Russia. Russian people were deprived of their right to democratic, free and fair elections. This week the European Parliament called for fresh elections to be held after the registration of all opposition parties. The European Union cannot continue as if it is business as usual. We can not speak of strategic partnership and pretend to be building it on flawed foundations. We need a new EU-Russia strategy - a strategy that is constructive yet conditional, engaging yet demanding. The democratic freedom of the Russian people should not be ignored in the interests of European Union policy."

"I have already taken contact with other political groups in the European Parliament to send a joint letter to our counterparts in the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) informing them of the new consensus on Russia in the European Parliament. We will invite our colleagues to seriously consider challenging the credentials of the new State Duma delegation in PACE. Myself and Mr. Kasyanov (co-chair of PARNAS) took this message to the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Mr Thorbjorn Jagland, this week in Strasbourg."

For more information please contact:

Corlett Neil - Tel:+32 2 284 20 77 Mob:+32 478 78 22 84



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