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#Russia Petras Auštrevičius MEP: Geen gesprekken Europees Parlement-Doema à la carte

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Anna Relpace

The ‘blacklisted’ MEPs – members of the Delegation to Russian Federation declared persona non grata in a retaliation list drawn up during the sanctions war between the EU and Russia over Ukraine – starkly oppose the idea to visit Moscow in a reduced team. The possible trip is planned for the end of February, and is very much anticipated by those MEPs who consider that there is an urgent need for improvement in relations with the ‘strategic partner’.

“The engagement in talks with a selected group of MEPs is a wrong concept that we should not consider. First of all, because the European Parliament works on the democratic principles of representative democracy, and it is not up to Duma members to select the composition of the delegation. Secondly, it will give a false idea to the Russian authorities that they can ‘divide and rule’ – European values are not to be compromised in the name of economic benefits: Russia is a member of international organizations, as is the Council of Europe and the Security Council of the United Nations, so it is expected to be loyal to its obligations towards the broader international community, and its own people, its own Consitution,” Petras Auštrevičius MEP, van de subcommissie mensenrechten (afgebeeld), vertelde EU Reporter.

Een jaar na de moord op oppositiepoliticus Bois Nemtzow (27 februari 2015 in Moskou) is de situatie op het gebied van de mensenrechten en vrijheden in Rusland verder verslechterd. Het rechtssysteem wordt ingezet tegen het maatschappelijk middenveld en leidt tot kwaadwillige vervolgingszaken en valse vonnissen. De meest flagrante gevallen zijn die van mensenrechtenactivist Ildar Dadin, gevolgd door Amnesty International, en dierenrechtenactiviste Victoria Pavlenko, die van bijzonder belang zijn.

“Victoria Pavlenko’s case is reminiscent of the USSR – the same methods of profiling activists as mentally disturbed individuals: a successful real estate lawyer, whose company was ready to bail her out as a valuable specialist, all at once Pavlenko became ‘reportedly inadequate’ because of her brain tumour when facing the Russian justice system. Activists were ‘treated’ in psychiatric clinics in the USSR – it is outrageous that after the collapse of Communism and the democratic choice Russian people made, such practices are being revived in the most brutal way.”

De steun van het maatschappelijk middenveld blijft een voortdurend engagement van de EU-instellingen, waaronder het Europees Parlement, dat al een aantal resoluties over Rusland heeft uitgebracht waarin de autoritaire praktijken aan de kaak worden gesteld. Constitutionele vrijheden zijn genegeerd en er is een aantal wetten aangenomen die het maatschappelijk middenveld beperken en stigmatiseren. De betrekkingen tussen de EU en Rusland hebben het dieptepunt bereikt sinds de dagen van de Koude Oorlog.

“The restrictive measures were applied for a purpose,” continued Auštrevicius. “It does not make much sense to lift them in the absence of any improvements. However, Russia remains a partner in war on terrorism and in the talks over the future settlement in Syria, but these international policies by no means offer an indulgence towards authoritarian trends. We, the European Parliament, should demonstrate solidarity with Russian civil society and with each other as MEPs, sending a clear message to Duma, that the talks with a preselected delegation MEPs à la carte are not an option, that European politics are not to be twisted according to the Kremlin’s whims. Our values and freedoms are not the commodities we are prepared to trade in exchange for economic benefits. The dialogue can be resumed only in a response to democratic change.”

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Straatsburg, Europees Parlement

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