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EPP on EU-Russia Relations

By Messenger Staff
Tuesday, February 22
The European People’s Party (EPP) adopted a document setting out its position on EU-Russia relations on February 10. A significant part of the document concerns Georgian-Russian relations, declaring strongly that the territorial integrity of every country should be guaranteed and no country has the right not to respect it. “Russia must realise that there is no sphere of influence policy and that each country is free to decide upon its membership in an international organisation and choose its own security arrangement. The territorial integrity of every country has to be guaranteed,” reads the EPP document.

According to the recently adopted document with respect to Georgia, Russia has violated the fundamental principles of respect of sovereignty and territorial integrity and once again reiterates that world community will never recognise the independence of occupied Abkhazia and South Ossetia. EPP called upon Russia to fufill the August 12, 2008 agreement and withdraw its troops from Georgian territories.

EPP writes in the position paper that 2008 crisis in Georgia claimed that EU should unite regarding Russia. “Today - two years after the 2008 Georgia conflict and the recognition of South Ossetia and Abkhazia by Russia in violation of international law which severely strained EU-Russia relations - there is an opportunity for a fresh start as a result of the Modernisation Partnership agreed at the last EU-Russia summit,” the document reads. “It is ultimately against the interests of all member states if Russia (or any other country) manages to divide the EU states and to play them off against one another,” it says.

EPP said that the EU stands for democracy, the rule of law, human rights and media freedom worldwide. This is also the case for its relationship with Russia, which must also fulfil its obligations as a member of the Council of Europe, OSCE and the UN. According to the European People’s Party nowadays Russian standards do not correspond with the aforementioned European principles including human rights and media freedom. In this regard Russia should strengthen her human rights record and protect journalists from violence and intimidation.