Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2008-09-01-Speech-1-126"

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". Mr President, Mr President-in-Office of the Council, Commissioner, ladies and gentlemen, I believe that, in the current situation, we should be discussing what to do now. I believe that what the Council has decided and what has been done is basically what was possible, although we could always quibble about whether an Extraordinary European Council of the Heads of State or Government should not have been held straightaway to show our cohesion, but so be it. I believe that we must now ask some fundamental questions. The most fundamental question clearly concerns our position towards Russia, our cooperation with Russia and how we are in fact going to solve these problems in the Caucasus, because there is also Nagorno-Karabakh. We could from now on see permanent conflicts and President Sarkozy could therefore find himself permanently faced with such situations. He could take a room in the Kremlin and remain there indefinitely; that would also be a possibility. My opinion is as follows: firstly, Mr Daul, if there is something that we should not be discussing, it is Georgia and Ukraine joining NATO. This is truly the most idiotic idea at the moment because it means that we would be unable to go any further politically. Will Georgia or Ukraine join NATO when its reforms have been carried out? Perhaps, I am not sure. However, this is not really the relevant issue today. Do you think that, if Georgia had been in NATO, Article 5 would have been mobilised? Of course not! Therefore we should not talk rubbish. On the other hand – and here I agree with Mr Watson – how we can control actions such as those of President Saakashvili? While we agree that Russia’s action was unacceptable, it was also unacceptable for a Georgian President to decide to bomb a town, for whatever reason! If you are provoked, you should respond in another way, not by bombing. Therefore there is a real political problem. We propose to tackle this political problem as follows: we should propose to Georgia and Ukraine a privileged partnership as a first step towards possible integration. This integration can then take place if there is a fundamental reform in Europe, and so on. However, we should have political instruments and not just economic and social instruments to bring pressure to bear on these political classes. A future in the European space specifically means a future in which these countries are rid of nationalism. We should consider the phrase of François Mitterrand: ‘nationalism is war’. Georgian nationalism, Russian nationalism, Abkhazian nationalism and South Ossetian nationalism is war! We in Europe must say ‘our view is to go beyond that’. Therefore, by proposing a European view, we are also proposing to put on the table European values because, if nationalism endures in these regions, we will never find a solution."@en1

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