Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2008-09-01-Speech-1-150"

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"Mr President, Commissioner, Mr Kouchner, Russia’s actions amount to an attempt to revert to the imperialist policy of the former Soviet Union. They are an attempt to impose Russia’s own political vision on an independent state. How should Europe respond? In my view, we should begin by addressing Russia with one voice and making it abundantly clear that there can be no question of reverting to the policy of spheres of influence. There can be no return to imperialist policy, no repetition of previous actions, and no reversion to the use of force in international relations. We must speak with one voice as we convey this message to Russia, and do so in a clear and unambiguous manner. We need to make it quite clear to Russia that aggression does not pay. Secondly, the Union must launch two types of long-term action. The first would involve drastically reducing its dependence on Russia for energy. I do not wish to be blackmailed by Russia over gas or oil, and I am sure the same is true of everyone else in this Chamber. We do not want our political activity and the defence of our principles and values to be dependent on the supply of gas or oil. The second type of action is strategic in nature and amounts to making an offer to states that were formerly part of the Soviet Union. Not only should Georgia be involved but also, and most especially, Ukraine, along with other countries. What we have on offer is definitely more attractive than what Russia is proposing. I am very pleased that these views have been enshrined in the conclusions of today’s Council, and I think this is the right course of action for the future."@en1

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