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ALDE calls for the EP to formally freeze contacts with the Russian Duma


08 Feb 2012


Europe's East

Kristiina Ojuland (Reform Party, Estonia) ALDE Spokesperson on Russia today called for the European Parliament to formally freeze its contacts with the Russian State Duma until free and fair parliamentary elections have been held in Russia.    The last  Duma elections held on December 4 have been characterized as fraudulent  by international  watchdogs.   She was speaking on the day the Former Prime Minister of Russia and a co-chair of the People's Freedom Party (PARNAS), Mikhail Kasyanov,  is in Brussels to  discuss the situation in Russia ahead of the Presidential elections in Russia 4 March 2012.

Ojuland stated "The European Parliament adopted a resolution last  December clearly demanding that new elections are held in Russia and reiterating  that Russia must respect the commitments made to the Council of Europe and OSCE.  Since this  call appears to have fallen on deaf ears, we must take a bold step forward and increase pressure on Russia to comply.  Therefore we must suspend  the EU-Russia PCC with immediate effect."

Mikhail Kasyanov, former Russian Prime Minister and leader of the People for Democracy and Justice political party, which was banned from taking part in the Duma elections in Russia concluded  "Last weekend tens of thousands of Russian citizens took to the streets again demanding free and fair elections.   Unless the Russian authorities answer the call of the Russian people for more democracy, reform of the electoral laws, and an end to the restrictions to political pluralism,  we are on the verge of a very serious period of unrest."

Note for editors: The Parliamentary Cooperation Committee (PCC) was established in 1994 in accordance with the signed Agreement on Partnership and Cooperation between Russia and EU.

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