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6. Supports the EU Special Representative for the South Caucasus, Peter Semneby, in his role of facili-tating dialogue between the political groupings and investigating possible ways of resolving the politicalcrisis in Armenia, and welcomes the mediation by the OSCE's Special Envoy, Ambassador Heikki Talvitie,who has a great deal of experience of the South Caucasus region, and urges the Armenian authorities tocooperate fully with the international community in finding an agreed solution;7. Deplores the recent loss of life on the
line of control
during fighting between Armenian andAzerbaijani forces; calls on both sides to refrain from further violence and to return to the negotiating table;8. Reiterates the clear EU commitment to building closer ties with Armenia and the South Caucasuscountries, notably by further developing and strengthening the ENP; emphasises, however, that closer coop-eration with the EU must be based on real and tangible progress and reforms and a full commitment todemocracy and the rule of law; calls on the Commission to further support efforts aimed at improving thepolitical culture in Armenia, strengthening dialogue and defusing the high level of tension betweengoverning parties and opposition;9. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the governments andparliaments of the Member States, the President and Parliament of Armenia, the OSCE and the Council of Europe.
Russia
P6_TA(2008)0105
European Parliament resolution of 13 March 2008 on Russia
(2009/C 66 E/12)
The European Parliament,
— 
having regard to the objectives of consolidating democracy and political freedoms in the RussianFederation, as laid down in the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement between the EuropeanCommunities and their Member States, of the one part, and the Russian Federation, of the other part (
1
), which entered into force in 1997 and expired in 2007,
— 
having regard to the EU-Russia human rights consultation,
— 
having regard to the objective of the EU and Russia, set out in the joint statement issued following the11th EU-Russia Summit held in St Petersburg on 31 May 2003, of setting up a common economicspace, a common space of freedom, security and justice, a common space of cooperation in the fieldof external security and a common space of research and education, including cultural aspects,
— 
having regard to its previous resolutions on Russia, and in particular to that of 25 October 2006 onthe murder of the Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya (
2
), that of 26 April 2007 (
3
), that of 14 November 2007 on the EU-Russia Summit (
4
) and that of 13 December 2006 on the EU-RussiaSummit in Helsinki on 24 November 2006 (
5
),20.3.2009 C 66 E/69Official Journal of the European Union
Thursday 13 March 2008
EN(
1
) OJ L 327, 28.11.1997, p. 1.(
2
) OJ C 313 E, 20.12.2006, p. 271.(
3
) Texts adopted, P6_TA(2007)0169.(
4
) Texts adopted, P6_TA(2007)0528.(
5
) OJ C 317 E, 23.12.2006, p. 474.
 
— 
having regard to Rule 115(5) of its Rules of Procedure,A. whereas enhanced cooperation and good-neighbourly relations between the EU and Russia are of key importance to the stability, security and prosperity of the whole of Europe; whereas the conclusion of aStrategic Partnership Agreement between the EU and the Russian Federation remains of the utmostimportance for a further development and intensification of cooperation between the two partners, inparticular with regard to matters of political, security, economic and energy cooperation, but also withregard to respect for the rule of law, democratic principles and procedures and basic human rights,B. whereas alongside its membership of the United Nations, Russia is a full member of the Council of Europe and the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), and has thereforecommitted itself to the principles of democracy and democratic elections as well as respect for freedomof speech and assembly laid down by those organisations; whereas those principles and values are alsothe basis for the strategic partnership between the EU and Russia,C. whereas the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), in its capacity as aninternational election standards watchdog, had to cancel its planned mission to monitor the electionsin Russia because of the severe restrictions placed on its observers by the Russian Government,D. whereas the head of the observers from the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe declaredthat there has been no improvement in the conditions of access of candidates to the media, calling intoquestion the fairness of the election,E. whereas Mikhail Kasyanov, the former Prime Minister and current leader of the People's DemocraticUnion, registered as a candidate on 14 December 2007, but was later disqualified by the Central Elec-toral Commission of Russia, which stated that too many of the 2 million signatures of support wereforged; whereas Mikhail Kasyanov appealed against that decision to the Supreme Court, which rejectedthe appeal on 6 February 2008,F. whereas according to reports by leading opposition forces, the Russian authorities, in the run-up to theparliamentary and presidential elections, put increased pressure on opposition groups and non-govern-mental organisations to refrain from any activities directed against the president and the government,preventing the media from reporting on any such activities,G. whereas democracy has been weakened in Russia, in particular by the government control of all major TV stations and most radio stations, the spread of self-censorship among the print media, new restric-tions on the right to organise public demonstrations and a worsening climate for non-governmentalorganisations,H. whereas on 3 March 2008
Other Russia
, a coalition of opposition parties, organised a
March of Dissent
to protest against the presidential elections in Russia of 2 March 2008; whereas the city authorities refused to authorise the protest, claiming that the pro-Kremlin
Young Russia
youth grouphad already planned gatherings at every large meeting point in the capital; whereas
Other Russia
decided to go ahead with the march and said it would appeal against the city's decision,I. whereas several opposition protesters were arrested as riot police and militias wearing helmets andcarrying riot shields crushed the rally in Turgenevskaya Square in central Moscow; whereas NikitaBelykh, the leader of the Union of Right Forces party, was among those detained; whereas the leader of the Yabloko party in St Petersburg, Maksim Reznik, was also arrested,20.3.2009C 66 E/70 Official Journal of the European Union
Thursday 13 March 2008
EN

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