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Russia can no longer be considered a ‘strategic partner’, say MEPs

The Address | Benghazi – Libya

On Tuesday, MEPs agreed that the EU should remain open to imposing further sanctions if Russia continues to violate international law, according to EuropeanInterest.eu.

Parliament adopted on Tuesday a resolution by 402 votes to 163, with 89 abstentions, assessing the current state of EU-Russia political relations.

Sanctions must be prolonged

MEPs note that new areas of tension between the EU and Russia have arisen since 2015, including Russia’s intervention in Syria, interference in countries such as Libya and the Central African Republic, and continuous aggressive action in Ukraine. They also highlight Russia’s support for anti-EU parties and far-right movements, and that it keeps meddling in political elections and violating human rights in its own state.

Taking stock of these violations of international law, MEPs stress that the EU should stand ready to adopt further sanctions against Russia, especially those targeting individuals. Sanctions should be proportionate to the threats posed by Russia, they add. In December last year, the Council prolonged economic sanctions until 31 July 2019.

Addressing global challenges together

The resolution underlines that the EU should review its current Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA) with Russia and limit cooperation to areas of common interest. Global challenges, such as climate change, energy security, digitalization, artificial intelligence and the fight against terrorism call for selective engagement, MEPs say.

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