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25 September, 2013 17:57   ▪  

The European Parliament offers sanctions against Russia for pressure on Eastern Partnership countries

The European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee supports draft request for the European Commission on measures in response to Russia’s pressure against Eastern Partnership countries drafted by MEP Jacek Saryusz-Wolski (EPP Group, Poland). The Committee passed this decision at a meeting on September 24

Russia’s actions question the EU’s Eastern Partnership policy which we should protect while supporting complete sovereign right of our partners in choosing association with the EU, the request says.

Polish MEP noted that the EU should respond to this situation decisively by approving identical and symmetric actions.

In their request, the MEPs called on the Commission to consider an opportunity to apply a number of sanctions against Russia and Eastern Partnership countries.

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According to the Committee members, the measures against Russia should include ensuring that the activities of Russian companies, primarily energy companies, on the EU territory fully comply with European legislation.

Also, MEPs supported measures to restrict imports of Russian goods and visa restrictions against Russian citizens that mirror Russia’s respective decisions regarding Eastern Partnership countries (restriction of entry for Moldovan workers to Russia, for instance).

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For Eastern Partnership countries, MEPs believe, the European Commission should speed up visa liberalization, open unilateral access to the EU markets for their goods, help them get financial assistance and work on accelerating their integration with the EU market, including support in negotiations on possible reverse delivery of fuels. 

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On September 12, the European Parliament passed a resolution where it described Russia’s pressure against Eastern Partnership countries as unacceptable and called on the European Commission to take specific steps in supporting these countries. The resolution also expressed support for the signing and initialing of Association Agreements with the Eastern Partnership countries that will be ready for this.

This was in response to Russia’s recent pressure on post-Soviet states to prevent their approximation to the WU. Experts believe that Moscow’s pressure urged Armenia to join the Customs Union.

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