Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2012-09-11-Speech-2-625-000"

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"Mr President, Baroness Ashton, five months after the forced re-election of President Putin, relations between the EU and Russia have reached a low point. We should finally and honestly take stock of the situation and stop pretending to ourselves. For years we have been making efforts to bring about a strategic partnership, but we do not yet have one. In fact, this goal is still a long way off. Our policy of integration and appeasement has reached its limits. The conflicts in Syria and Iran, which we have just been discussing, demonstrate that we do not have common interests and that we are pursuing diametrically opposed objectives. The despotic and autocratic regimes in Asia are closer to the Kremlin than the liberal West. This is made clear by the ambitious project to set up a Eurasian Union, which lacks a convincing political and economic base. The modernisation agreement has got no further than declarations of intent and the new government has not exactly shown itself to be committed to modernisation. Quite the contrary. The laws recently passed by the Duma, which still has no legitimacy, are taking Russia back into the past. They are tendentious and have deliberately vague wording in order to open the door to arbitrary justice. This is demonstrated by the dreadful trials of Mr Khodorkovsky and Pussy Riot and by the criminal prosecution and appalling death of Sergei Magnitsky. In Russia, the prosecution of crimes depends not on the acts themselves, but on whether the legal proceedings meet the ruling elites’ political requirements or are useful to them. Russia is no longer on the way to becoming a state under the rule of law. Instead, it is moving in the opposite direction. Our one-sided efforts to bring about cooperation and modernisation seem more like attempts to introduce change by ingratiating ourselves with the Russian regime. The Kremlin sees this as an acknowledgement of the political line it is taking. Therefore, we must show that we have the determination to put these questions to the test."@en1

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