Violating international law, Russia isn't partner any more

The EU should remain open to imposing further sanctions if Russia continues to violate international law, MEPs stated last Tuesday in a resolution adopted by by 402 votes to 163, with 89 abstentions, the EP press service reported. MEPs noted that new areas of tension between the EU and Russia have arisen since 2015, including Russia’s intervention in Syria, interference in Libya and the CAR, and continuous aggressive action in Ukraine.

They also highlighted Russia's support for anti-EU parties and far-right movements, and that it keeps meddling in political elections and violating human rights in its own state. Taking stock of these violations of international law, MEPs stress that the EU should stand ready to adopt further sanctions against Russia, especially those targeting individuals. Sanctions should be proportionate to the threats posed by Russia, they add. In December last year, the Council prolonged economic sanctions until 31 July 2019.

“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,” rapporteur Sandra Kalniete (EPP, LV) said.

The resolution underlines that the EU should review its current Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA) with Russia and limit cooperation to areas of common interest. Closer relations will only be possible if Russia fully implements the so-called Minsk agreements to end the war in eastern Ukraine and starts respecting international law, according to the adopted text.

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