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Pressure exerted by the Russian Federation on Council of Europe member States / Eastern Partnership countries

Motion for a resolution | Doc. 13330 | 04 October 2013

Ms Lesia OROBETS, Ukraine, EPP/CD ; Mr Pedro AGRAMUNT, Spain, EPP/CD ; Mr Volodymyr ARIEV, Ukraine, EPP/CD ; Ms Lolita ČIGĀNE, Latvia, EPP/CD ; Mr Axel E. FISCHER, Germany, EPP/CD ; Mr Martin FRONC, Slovak Republic, EPP/CD ; Mr Valeriu GHILETCHI, Republic of Moldova, EPP/CD ; Ms Dzhema GROZDANOVA, Bulgaria, EPP/CD ; Ms Ana GUŢU, Republic of Moldova, ALDE ; Mr Andres HERKEL, Estonia, EPP/CD ; Mr Joachim HÖRSTER, Germany, EPP/CD ; Ms Anette HÜBINGER, Germany, EPP/CD ; Mr Michael Aastrup JENSEN, Denmark, ALDE ; Mr Giorgi KANDELAKI, Georgia, EPP/CD ; Ms Kerstin LUNDGREN, Sweden, ALDE ; Ms Guguli MAGHRADZE, Georgia, SOC ; Mr Edgar MAYER, Austria, EPP/CD ; Mr Fritz NEUGEBAUER, Austria, EPP/CD ; Mr José Ignacio PALACIOS, Spain, EPP/CD ; Ms Liliana PALIHOVICI, Republic of Moldova, EPP/CD ; Mr Pavlo RYABIKIN, Ukraine, EPP/CD ; Mr Kimmo SASI, Finland, EPP/CD ; Ms Elisabeth SCHNEIDER-SCHNEITER, Switzerland, EPP/CD ; Mr Senad ŠEPIĆ, Bosnia and Herzegovina, EPP/CD ; Mr Serhiy SOBOLEV, Ukraine, EPP/CD ; Ms Karin STRENZ, Germany, EPP/CD ; Mr Ionuţ-Marian STROE, Romania, ALDE ; Ms Bernadett SZÉL, Hungary, SOC ; Ms Chiora TAKTAKISHVILI, Georgia, ALDE ; Ms Anne-Mari VIROLAINEN, Finland, EPP/CD ; Mr Jordi XUCLÀ, Spain, ALDE ; Mr Emanuelis ZINGERIS, Lithuania, EPP/CD

Member States neighbours to Russia are facing mounting pressure in the run up to the Europe Union’s Vilnius Summit where some of them are expected to sign or initial Association Agreements. The pressure applied upon these countries, in particular Ukraine, Georgia and the Republic of Moldova aimed at influencing their domestic and foreign policies contradicts the Statute of the Council of Europe.

By joining the Council of Europe, the Russian Federation undertook statutory and accession obligations not to intervene in internal affairs of its neighbours, including the obligations referred to in Parliamentary Assembly’s Opinion 193 (1996) on the application by Russia for membership of the Council of Europe.

Conversely, the Council of Europe witnessed:

  • the imposition of economic embargo on Georgia in 2006;
  • targeted sanctions against Ukraine’s exports, an export ban on the Moldovan wine industry, additional obstacles impeding progress towards resolution of the Transnistrian conflict, and security-related threats with respect to Armenia, aiming at forcing the Eastern Partnership countries not to sign or initial the Association Agreements or DCFTAs, but to join the Russian-led Customs Union;
  • the recent campaign of “borderisation” in Georgia – the gradual advance of the occupation line into the Georgian territory by Russian armed forces present in South Ossetia in breach of Assembly resolutions and the European Union-brokered Cease-Fire Agreement.
Military, political and economic pressure exerted on these countries signals that Russia still views them as its “sphere of privileged influence”, which goes against the principles of national sovereignty, mutual trust and good neighbourly relations.

The European Parliament’s resolution of 12 September 2013 on the pressure exerted by Russia on Eastern Partnership countries condemned such actions by Russia and the Assembly should call on the Russian Federation to respect the sovereign choices of its neighbours.