Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2008-09-01-Speech-1-140"

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"Mr President, the European Council met this morning to decide its position on three challenges, as explained to us by Mr Kouchner. These are: firstly, the disproportionate reaction, violation of international law, and invasion and ongoing occupation of a sovereign State; secondly, the disregard for a peace plan signed thanks to the diligence of the Presidency of the European Union, and, thirdly, recognition of the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia which, by curiously invoking the precedent of Kosovo, has been rapidly recognised by Venezuela, Belarus and Hamas: ‘A man is known by the company he keeps’. Today’s response from the European Council to these challenges is very clear: we are at a crossroads in our relations with Russia. We have to be serious, Mr President, because we cannot continue in this way. The prestige and credibility of the European Union are at stake. The EU cannot simply sign the cheque for these great modern dramas. Despite the excellent work of Commissioner Ferrero-Waldner, we, as the European Union, are not just here to pay for the damage and destruction wrought by the Russians in Georgia or by the Israelis in Palestine. We must have a proper foreign policy. I would ask you, Mr Jouyet, to ensure that, on the 8th when the President of the Council of the European Union, Mr Sarkozy, visits Moscow, purely in the interests of ensuring consistency in the principles that we apply and value in the European Union, he gives a clear warning and a blunt and credible message that flouting international rules and law and violating the territorial integrity of a sovereign State will have a cost in terms of relations with the European Union. This is important as there must be consequences, Mr President, and, in this respect, there is a lot riding on this."@en1

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