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Russia can’t be considered strategic partner of EU anymore, MEPs say

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Staff Writer |
Europe   MEPs voted in favour of a resolution

The EU should be ready to impose further sanctions on Russia if the country continues to violate international law, EU lawmakers said in a resolution adopted in the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

Passing with 402 votes in favour, 163 against and 89 abstentions, MEPs voted in favour of a resolution stating that Russia “can no longer be considered a ‘strategic partner’” and that “the EU cannot envisage a gradual return to ‘business as usual’ until Russia fully implements the Minsk Agreement and restores the territorial integrity of Ukraine.”

In the resolution, MEPs state that since 2015, new areas of tension between the EU and Russia have been created.

The document includes a long list of actions taken by the Kremlin to break international law and human rights, naming Russia’s intervention in Syria or its interference in countries like Libya and the Central African Republic and continuous aggressive activities in Ukraine.

MEPs also draw attention to Russia’s support for anti-EU parties and extreme right-wing movements, as well as meddling in political elections and violations of human rights in their own country.

They are “deeply concerned about the links between the Russian government and the extreme right and populist nationalist parties and governments in the EU, such as in Hungary” and call for an “EU-wide mechanism allowing the screening of political parties’ funding,” and measures to be taken “to avoid some parties and movements being used to destabilise the European project from within.”

“The time for nice and diplomatic language is over.

“There is very little room for any cooperation as long as Russia continues to occupy parts of Ukraine and attacks other European countries”, Latvian MEP Sandra Kalniete (EPP), rapporteur for the report on the state of play in EU-Russia political relations, said on Tuesday.

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