Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2007-10-24-Speech-3-057"

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"Madam President, ladies and gentlemen, there are two ways of examining the EU’s relations with Russia. We can see them either as problems or as opportunities. As we know, at present both are in plentiful supply. Last week in Lisbon, Union leaders took a step towards a more coherent foreign policy. Could not policy on Russia be the first port of call for both sides, which is to say for Russia too? The Partnership and Cooperation Agreement needs revamping, and we know it. In the area of the Northern Dimension something has been achieved in matters relating to the Baltic Sea, but we must move on to new areas. The road maps exist, but there are not many travellers on the road. We have endorsed Russian membership of the WTO. We need to finalise the agreement. Then the duty on timber and illegal charges imposed at borders which Commissioner Ferrero-Waldner mentioned would be kept in check. We are completely dependent on one another in the matter of energy, but that dependence needs to work both ways. Exports represent dependence just as much as imports. We therefore need to end the dumb act with Russia. Unfortunately, the situation has been going on for a long time, but I salute Poland’s new leader, who wanted to improve relations with Russia, and Germany too. Russia is obviously more of a problem. Talks must also achieve results in the area of citizens’ rights, and not just when it is a matter of goods. I would ask the Council if the timber duties will be mentioned at the summit. Furthermore, what about the new law in Russia regarding the practice whereby a suspect is not handed over for questioning in the country in which the crime has occurred? That is a strange procedure. In other words, a criminal who commits an offence in a Member State can seek asylum in Russia. Will the Council be addressing this issue at the summit?"@en1

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