Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2007-05-09-Speech-3-075"

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"The European Union sees Russia as a good long-term partner, but is it using its influence to encourage Russia to become a democratic and predictable neighbour? Since Russia acquired the status of a big energy player, its domestic and foreign policy is taking on increasingly unattractive forms. The European Union, however, confronted with Russia’s new policies, is not functioning as a united force but as individual Member States, and in situations of conflict with Russia, EU Member States are directed to resolve the conflicts bilaterally. The most recent example of this is Russia’s gross interference in the internal affairs of the European Union Member State of Estonia, even extending to demands for Estonia’s democratically elected parliament and government to resign. The European Union did not let the opportunity pass to remain silent, in contrast, for instance, to the US president and senate, who expressed strong support for Estonia. The European Union Presidency is trying to make the conflict into an issue to be resolved bilaterally between Estonia and Russia. Russia may be allowed to divide the European Union into small and large states, new and old states, partner states and ungrateful states across the border. The next summit meeting between the European Union and Russia will, in many aspects, be a significant test of the European Union’s ability to work as a union. Thank you."@en1

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