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European Parliament’s conditions for Russia can’t be fulfilled — expert

September 18, 2014, 16:20 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The resolution makes the Russian side solely responsible for all issues and fails to take Russia’s interests into account
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© EPA/PATRICK SEEGER

MOSCOW, September 18. /ITAR-TASS/. A resolution passed by the European Parliament on the Ukraine crisis and the EU-Russia relations is a tough document, which can’t be fulfilled, Chairman of the Presidium of Russia’s Council for Foreign and Defense Policy Fyodor Lukyanov said on Thursday.

The European Parliament’s resolution adopted at its plenary session in Strasbourg on Thursday says the European Union should formulate specific criteria for Moscow to avoid a next round of sanctions or for the current sanctions to be lifted.

The resolution makes the Russian side solely responsible for all issues and fails to take Russia’s interests into account, Lukyanov said.

“The conditions that are advanced can’t be fulfilled by Russia for many reasons,” the Russian expert said.

Resolution to have no practical significance

At the same time, the European Parliament’s resolution will hardly have big practical significance as it is not a direct guidance for the governments of the EU countries, the expert said.

Compared with the European Parliament, which does not bear responsibility for anything, the European Council comprising the heads of state and governments of the EU member countries holds a more weighed position, the Russian expert said.

“But this is a division of roles: the European Parliament can say whatever it wants while the European Council and the European Commission will act as they deem necessary,” the expert said.

The European Parliament’s resolution will not have any special consequences because it is not a guide to action for the EU governments. At the same time, the document reflects the general atmosphere in Europe, which should be borne in mind, the expert said.

The resolution approved by the European Parliament calls on EU member states “to adopt a clear set of benchmarks which, when achieved, could prevent adoption of the new restrictive measures against Russia or lead to the lifting of the previous ones.”

The European Parliament’s resolution says that these benchmarks should include the following: “complete withdrawal of Russian troops and mercenaries from the territory of Ukraine; ending the supply of arms and equipment to terrorists; full respect for the ceasefire regime by Russia; establishment of effective international control and verification of the ceasefire regime; and the restoration of Ukraine’s control over its entire territory.”

The European Parliament members welcomed the restrictive measures against Russia.

The resolution also called for the EU to consider excluding Russia from civil nuclear cooperation and the Swift international financial message system. The European Parliament members said “the EU needs to rethink its relations with Russia, abandon the strategic partnership concept and find a new, unified approach.”

As for the gas dispute between Russia and Ukraine, the European Parliament called for “the continuation of the trilateral talks on Ukraine’s gas supplies … in order find a way to reinstate them.”

At the same time, the European Parliament called on the EU member states “to cancel planned agreements with Russia in the energy sector, including the South Stream gas pipeline.”

The European Parliament members also welcomed the signing of the Minsk ceasefire agreement and called on “all sides to respect the ceasefire and to refrain from any action or moves which would jeopardize the agreement.

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