Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2008-09-01-Speech-1-135"

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"Ladies and gentlemen, today’s summit meeting is focused on offering assistance to Georgia. That is necessary, but it is also Russia’s duty to participate financially in Georgia’s reconstruction. What else must happen so that the European Union can properly assess Russia’s role in events and take action to ensure that nothing of the kind is ever repeated? Firstly, it must be acknowledged that this was planned aggression on the part of Russia, and that it started with the systematic provocation of Georgia over many months. If Russia’s aggression and recognition of the independence of the separatist regions are not met with an appropriate response, then that will be a clear signal that it can act in the same way again in the future. After all, there are many Russian citizens in the EU states, too, whom the EU is willing to protect. There are many things that Russia needs from us, but we consistently lose the initiative. Firstly, we should freeze the agreement on the visa facilitation system with Russia. At the same time, such an agreement should be concluded with Georgia. Secondly, until Russia has fully released the occupied territories, the operation of the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement must be suspended. Thirdly, the so-called Russian peace-keeping forces must be replaced with international peace-keepers, respecting Georgia’s territorial integrity. I also suggest that the International Olympic Committee be called upon to announce a new competition for the organisation of the Winter Olympics in 2014, since holding them in a totalitarian state will only lead to problems. We should not be worried or fearful about the suspension of so-called dialogue. At the moment the dialogue has turned into the expression of one-sided offers on our side and infringement of the rules on the Russian side. We need to understand that only strong action can make Russia opt for a position worthy of a 21st century state. Russia is just one state. It is not special."@en1

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