Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2007-10-24-Speech-3-075"

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"Madam President, I think it is high time to face realities. Mr Watson has said that there are cracks in the present cooperation mechanism which are developing towards becoming fissures. The Partnership and Cooperation Agreement declares that we share the same values. However, some years ago, Chris Patten wrote that he does not believe that we really share the same values at this point. The traditional feature of Russian state policies is pretending – building Potemkin villages – and Mr Putin is still pretending to have democracy while having almost completed building up the authoritarian highly nationalist state. We also pretend that the coming elections will be crucial. I doubt it, because everything has been prepared to manipulate these elections and to obtain results in accordance with Mr Putin’s wishes, including artificial opposition parties and the creation of phoney NGOs. If we now agree to play along with this game of pretending, pretending we believe in this sort of democracy, we are going to take co-responsibility for what is going to happen in Russia and for the fate of ordinary Russians who deserve better than this fake democracy. I strongly disagree, therefore, with the Council statement that there is no alternative to cooperation. Democracy is based upon creating and having alternatives and we also have to commit ourselves to strongly defending human rights. We have to balance our relations and we have to signal that we are prepared to stop our cooperation if Russia does not answer with reciprocity and openness."@en1

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