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European Law Monitor NewsEU-Russia relations after the Mafra Summit


In adopting a joint resolution on the EU Russia Summit of 26 October 2007, MEPs call on the Russian Government to create together with the European Union the necessary condition for a rapid start to the negotiations on a new Partnership and Cooperation Agreement between the EU and Russia.

The House stresses the importance of unity and solidarity among the EU Member States in their relations with Russia. The European Parliament stresses once more, in this connection, that democracy and human rights must be at the core of any future agreement with the Russian Federation.
  

WTO

  
The European Parliament welcomes the progress made at the Summit as regards Russia´s accession to the WTO. The House calls on Russia to take the necessary steps to remove the remaining obstacles to the accession process.
  
MEPs emphasise, that the current situation in Russia gives rise to serious concern in terms of respect for human rights, democracy, freedom of expression and the rights of civil society and individuals to challenge authorities and hold them accountable for their actions. The EP is extremely worried about the lack of any substantive response by the Russian authorities to the numerous expressions of this concern. MEPs stress that the implementation of the current NGO law has had a negative impact on the work of many NGOs,
  

Human rights

  
MEPs call for a stepping-up of the EU-Russia human rights dialogue and for this process to be opened up to effective input from the European Parliament, the State Duma and civil society and human rights organisations. The House calls for the situation of minorities within Russia to be included on the agenda of the human rights dialogue. The House calls on Russia to respect fully its obligations as a member of the Council of Europe, including respecting the right of association and the right to peaceful demonstration.
  

Investment in Russia

  
The House stresses the importance of improving the climate for European investment in Russia, which can only be achieved by promoting and facilitating non-discriminatory and transparent business conditions, less bureaucracy, and two-way investment. The EP is concerned about the lack of predictability in the application of rules by the authorities.
  
The House emphasises that queues of trucks up to 50 km long on the EU side of the border are unacceptable and therefore calls on Russia to streamline its procedures at the borders and to implement the measures agreed with the EU to reduce these bottlenecks.
  
MEPs regret the fact that Russia did not honour its commitment to phase out Siberian overflight payments, and call on Russia to sign the agreement reached on this issue at the last summit.
  
Parliament appeals to the Governments of Russia and the United States to intensify the discussions on defence and security issues directly or indirectly involving the Member States of the European Union. MEPs urge the Governments of both States to involve the European Union and its Member States fully in these discussions and to refrain from taking any steps or decisions which might be considered a threat to peace and stability on the European continent.
  
Finally, the House urges Russia to reconsider plans to suspend compliance with the Treaty on Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE) and to use the path of negotiations in order to protect its legitimate interests and avoid an erosion of the CFE Treaty, which could lead to a new arms race and new lines of confrontation.

Further information:

Joint motion for a resolution on the EU-Russia Summit