Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2007-10-24-Speech-3-062"

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"Ladies and gentlemen, debate on the EU-Russia relationship is one of the most frequent themes in this House. The same clichés are regularly heard, whether intentional or motivated by misunderstanding or ignorance of the issues. In spite of this, whether or not we want to, we must deal with Russia as a partner. If we cannot find a shared language and do not strive to gradually improve relationships, the EU will suffer from it more than Russia. This does not imply closing our eyes to difficulties, but rather looking reality in the face and judging everyone by the same measure. It is a fact that today’s Russia is stronger economically and is as a consequence more self-confident. It also protects its own interests just as the US does or for that matter the EU. We need a sober approach. This is why I am happy that by postponing the resolution we gave a freer hand to our representatives at the summit in Portugal. Today’s Russia is not the former Soviet Union. I am saying this not only from my own long experience of work in this country, but also on the basis of words borrowed from the head of American diplomacy."@en1

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