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ECR

The European Union must be united in relations with Russia

16 September 2021

The European Union must be united in relations with Russia

The European Conservatives and Reformists Group supports the coordinated and holistic containment strategy vis-à-vis Russia that the European Parliament has adopted in an own initiative report. The report is the firmest document to be adopted by the European Parliament on Russia so far.

Speaking in the plenary debate, ECR Coordinator in the Foreign Affairs Committee, Anna Fotyga, thanked the rapporteur, Andrius Kubilius.

Ms Fotyga who served as ECR’s shadow rapporteur for this document, said:

“It is also important that the European Parliament conducts the debate and adopts the report just a few days before the controversial elections to the State Duma of the Russian Federation.

“The report sends a very positive signal of hope to friends from the Russian dissidents. Among them are the members of the Memorial Association, who have shared our European values ​​since their association was founded, as well as imprisoned oppositionists, such as Alexei Navalny.

“It is particularly important that we remain united in our relations with Russia. The key is solidarity, but also a lack of naivety in assessing the Kremlin’s policy. In particular, the new methods used by the ruthless and insidious regime, which is manifested, inter alia, in the extensive use of hybrid tools. In this context, we must work very closely with organizations such as NATO to conduct an assessment of all threats that emerge from the Kremlin.”

Witold Waszczykowski, Chair of the European Parliament’s Delegation to the EU-Ukraine Parliamentary Association Committee, while addressing Josep Borrell, called for realism in EU foreign policy:

“Let’s not be naive. Russia is not part of the solution. Most of the time, it is part of the problem,” he said. As he noted, the Russian Federation itself creates problems and then acts as a sincere mediator.

“To assume that we will be able to change and democratise Russian society is an illusion. Russian policy has had imperialist goals for centuries. I think one generation will not be sufficient to quell these ambitions. The most important thing is to slow down the imperialist aspirations of Russia so that its activities against Georgia or Ukraine will finally become a thing of the past. We can clearly see that Georgia and Ukraine are getting closer to Europe.”

According to Mr Waszczykowski, it is impossible to solve the problems of these countries together with Russia. “It is important to force Russia to stop interfering in the policies of other countries,” he said.

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