Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2011-12-13-Speech-2-468-000"

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"Madam President, Baroness Ashton, the EU-Russia Summit takes place this week against the background of an extremely tense and crucial situation. The purpose and success of our modernisation partnership will depend on whether the Russian state is prepared to enter into a similar modernisation partnership with its own people and to restructure Russian society by introducing more democracy, the rule of law and respect for civil rights. The preliminary report from the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) and the results of monitoring by the Russian NGO Golos show that the elections to the Duma were heavily manipulated and falsified in favour of the ruling United Russia party. As far as we can tell, United Russia did not have an absolute majority. Ten thousand people protested against this because they feel that they have been betrayed and that their dignity has been violated. They do not want a revolution. They want fair elections and real opposition parties. Even Mikhail Gorbachev, who until now has been restrained in his criticism of Mr Putin, is calling for these elections to be annulled and new ones to be held. We should support this democratic movement and not just stand by and wait to see whether it manages to ensure that its demands are met by its own efforts. The courage and the lack of fear shown by these people point towards a new era. However, it is crazy to expect independent investigations to be carried out by the people responsible for the election fraud. What do we expect from President Medvedev? He was Vice-President under Mr Putin for four years, he intends to investigate the accusations, while already knowing that this will come to nothing, and he will do nothing to deal with those responsible for the election fraud, but instead threatens those governors who have not come up with the required figures. The results from the Caucasus alone are completely unbelievable. On the other hand, Mr Medvedev still has the opportunity to make up for all the disappointed hopes following his announcement of reform by at least showing that he is a real president before his departure and arranging new elections. What do we expect from Mr Putin? He has dug out the old cock-and-bull KGB story about the USA managing the protests. He is a dyed-in-the-wool dictator who has been ignoring civil society’s calls for democracy for years. In Russia’s sovereign democracy, it is not a sovereign that is needed, because Mr Putin makes all the decisions. Therefore, the EU should not, as it usually does, obediently call for clarification and investigations on the Russian side on Thursday. Only new, fair and transparent elections and the inclusion of the parties that were previously excluded will reduce the discontent of the Russian people and enable the conflict to be overcome. Therefore, I am asking you to support our amendment tomorrow."@en1

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