Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2012-12-12-Speech-3-463-000"

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"Mr President, the Commissioner’s earlier report on Russia still sets the standard and looks fresh, but I would like to comment on my colleague Mr Swoboda’s report as well. I think there are at least three important messages to deliver. One is that we need to be realistic and not count only on finding similarities. We need to promote the EU’s interests and values in areas where interests also diverge. How to do this is a practical question. Secondly, regarding reciprocity: a partnership can only function if both sides agree to follow universal democratic principles. And we should send the concrete message that full compliance with the WTO rules is a precondition and minimum standard for any agreement with the EU. As usual the devil is in the detail. The EU itself should first agree about the definition of these preconditions and minimum standards. This is the EU’s first task and has been its major weakness so far. Thirdly, we should become more realistic about Russia’s historic conceptual and moral tradition – let us say, continuity. 85 years ago Lenin said that international treaties are like piecrust: made to be broken. So we need to face this real existing conceptual and immoral continuity – trying to help change it. This is our first task."@et1

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