EU-Russia Agreement: Parliament insists on democracy, rule of law and human rights. Ria Oomen-Ruijten MEP
A strategic partnership between the EU and Russia can only exist if both sides agree to follow universal democratic principles. According to Ria Oomen-Ruijten MEP, this is the main message the European Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee conveyed today in its Recommendation on the negotiations on a new EU-Russia Agreement.
Ria Oomen-Ruijten said: "We need to ensure that the new Agreement provides an ambitious, comprehensive, forward-looking and legally-binding framework for the further development of relations with Russia. These relations must always be based on the principle of reciprocity and founded on common values of democracy, respect for human rights and the rule of law."
In this regard, the Recommendation expresses serious concerns over current developments in Russia. Ria Oomen-Ruijten continued: "The situation with regards to human rights, the rule of law and democratic principles is deteriorating in Russia, and we therefore express our serious concerns about the many human rights breaches that have occurred, politically-motivated persecutions, impunity, corruption and the worsening climate for the development of civil society. The EU stands ready as a partner for Russia and offers its support, but we have to remind Russia that it can only develop into a modern and prosperous society if it respects and protects the individual and collective rights of all its citizens."
With regard to the content of the Agreement, the Recommendation emphasises the need to include a substantive and legally-binding chapter on energy, and binding trade and investment provisions. Furthermore, cooperation in the fields of research, education, culture and science should be promoted.
For further information:
Ria Oomen-Ruijten MEP, Tel: +32-2-2845863
Eduard Slootweg, EPP Group Press and Communications Service, Tel: +32-475-721280
Notes to Editors:
The EPP Group is by far the largest political group in the European Parliament with 271 Members and 3 Croatian Observer Members.