Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2007-10-24-Speech-3-070"

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"Madam President, Commissioner, I should like to begin by highlighting the importance of a strategic partnership between the European Union and Russia, and by stating my affection for the people of the Russian Federation, and indeed for all the nations of Russia. I also wish to recognise Russia’s achievements in terms of economic development and dealing with the social crisis. A genuine strategic partnership demands a serious and honest approach to mutual relations, however. The European Union has noted with concern the emergence of a new system of authority centred on President Putin. This system threatens to permanently weaken liberal democracy in Russia itself. It is also fanning the flames of neo-imperialism in Russian foreign policy. In the documents it has prepared in advance of the EU-Russia Summit, Amnesty International draws attention to human rights violations in Russia. The information provided by Amnesty relates to the infringement of human rights by governmental authorities in the northern Caucasus, notably in Chechnya and Ingushetia, to the worsening situation regarding freedom of expression and association, to the murder of journalists and to the increase in racially-motivated violence. The Portuguese Presidency should raise the issues referred to by Amnesty International at the summit due to take place in Mafra on 26 October 2007. Russian civil society, journalists and human rights activists need to be able to perceive the European Union as a guardian of fundamental rights and as an ally of a Russia that is democratic, liberal and open to the world."@en1

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