The European Parliament has proposed to consider the suspension of the partnership agreement with Russia
BRUSSELS, 1 Dec. /TASS/ — In the EP noted that “relations between Russia and the EU need to be reformatted and should be continued only in those areas that are necessary and mutual interest”.
The European Parliament proposes to consider the suspension of the Agreement on partnership and cooperation (PCA) with Russia and to move to a point of cooperation “only for topics that are “of mutual interest”, while acknowledging that “Russia will remain a key partner for the EU in the foreseeable future.” This is stated in the published on Friday the draft report of European Parliament on relations with Russia, voting on which will take place in March 2019.
“The European Parliament believes that the PCA should be discontinued. Relations between Russia and the EU need to be reformatted and should be continued only in those areas that are necessary and mutual interest to ensure the safety and peaceful European order,” the document says. While it lists all the currently known accusations against Russia.
In the same document, the European Parliament recognizes that “Russia and the EU will remain key partners in the foreseeable future, but the project “Nord stream — 2″ increases the EU’s dependence on Russian gas and threaten the single energy market of the EU.”
The agreement on partnership and cooperation was signed in 1998. In 2007, negotiations began on a new agreement, since then economic relations between Russia and the European Union, according to Russia’s permanent representative to the EU Vladimir Chizhov, “have outgrown this document”. The negotiation of the agreement four times suspended at the initiative of the European Union: in 2008, the crisis with the Russian ban of supplies to its market contaminated Polish meat, immediately after unblocking in the same 2008 — after the surgery of Russia to force Georgia to peace in South Ossetia, six months later, after defrosting, they actually stalled until Russia’s accession to the WTO, and the last time they were suspended, the EU in 2014, after the reunification of the Crimea with Russia. Consequently, the current PCA has been working for 30 years, and, despite the crisis, the volume of trade between Russia and the EU after the recession in 2014-2015 in 2016 began to grow again.
“Assistance to civil society” in Russiain addition, the European Parliament invited the Commission to consider increasing financial support to civil society activists, independent media, journalists, conducting investigations, and non-governmental organizations in Russia.
“The European Parliament calls on the Commission to lay more ambitious funding civil society in Russia through the existing foreign financial instruments of the EU, the document reads. — The European Parliament stressed the need to continue financial support to civil society activists, independent media, journalists conducting investigations and non-governmental organizations”. This call is made during the intensive discussions in the EU institutions and among member States about the settings for the next seven-year budget plan of the EU 2021-2027 the years in which budget revenues will be reduced considerably, in particular as a result of leaving the UK.
The European Parliament also calls for full extension of contacts between people, particularly through the active use of the student exchange programs of the EU “Erasmus Mundus”, stressing that the EU can offer Russia the best opportunities “for student mobility” among other partners. MEPs also call on the EU institutions and the member States of the community “to make more efforts for strengthening the European institutions, especially in the field of cybersecurity and the media” and call for “more active promotion of European values in the Russian language using the Eastern group of strategic communications of the EU”.
The draft report notes that the EU needs “to be ready to impose new sanctions, including personal restrictions [on entry into the EU] in response to Russian actions”.
In addition, MEPs are once again offer the “adopt a European version of the Magnitsky act”.
All the resolutions of the European Parliament are Advisory in nature and not binding on the institutions and EU countries.