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Debate on EU-Russia Summit (The Hague, November 25, 2004)

Speech by Dr.Laima Andrikiene, MEP (EPP-ED, Lithuania)
Plenary session of the European Parliament
Brussels, December 1, 2004

Thank you, Mr.President.

EU-Russia summit is a very important event, because it was the first EU-Russia Summit held after the EU enlargement to the countries of Central and Eastern Europe, and it is my sincere believe that its outcome is to be debated in the European Parliament. So let me stress at least a few points to be discussed or had been discussed during the summit which are of a great importance to all of us.

Certainly, we, the Parliament, should welcome the 14th EU-Russia Summit in The Hague and regret, however, that the Summit has been a failure as far as substantial progress on the establishment of the four common spaces is concerned.

We should strongly support the efforts of the Council and Commission to use the opportunity provided by the Summit to underline that Russia, the partner of the European Union, carries a great responsibility in our common neighbourhood and in Ukraine, Moldova and Belarus in particular.

Also we should firmly reject allegations recently made by Russian authorities that the European Union and the international community by expressing its support for the Ukrainian people's right to exercise their constitutional rights would encourage violence in Ukraine.

In this context we should express our concern about centralization of Kremlin powers at the expense of democracy, independent media, the regions, the rule of law and the human rights, especially as the situation in Chechnya and the Yukos affair are concerned;

At the same time I believe that ratification of border agreements between the Russian Federation and certain member states of the Union is one of the key points in strengthening EU-Russia partnership, encouraging mutual understanding and trust.

And my last point: Kaliningrad Region as an important factor for the overall development of the Baltic Sea area had to be discussed in the Hague as well, so I would like to use this opportunity to call on the Russian Duma and the leadership of the Russian Federation to start a dialogue on the development of a separate action plan for the economic and social development of the Kaliningrad region.

Thank you.