The Foreign Affairs Committee of the European Parliament approved a report on July 15 on the future of political relations between the European Union and Russia. In general, there are no surprises in the report: MEPs are preparing to adopt another anti-Russian resolution.
Why such an outcome? The European Parliament has adopted several anti-Russian resolutions over the past few months, one being "bigger and better" than another.
For example, on April 29, MEPs adopted a resolution with an overwhelming majority of votes calling to disconnect Russia from SWIFT and stop buying hydrocarbons from Russia in the event should Russia invade Ukraine. In September last year, a resolution was adopted on the "illegality" of amendments to the Russian Constitution. As if it is up to the European Parliament to decide what the Russian Constitution should be like.
There is practically no doubt that the current report will be adopted too. Fifty-six members of the committee voted for its approval, nine opposed and five abstained. Now the report will be submitted to the vote of the entire European Parliament at a plenary session.
"MEPs believe that the EU should be ready not to recognize the Russian parliament if the parliamentary elections in 2021 are held in violation of democratic principles and international law," the European Parliament said in a statement released after the vote.
In addition, the European Parliament rapporteur on relations with Russia, a deputy from Lithuania, Andrius Kubilius, called on to suspend Russia's participation in international parliamentary assemblies in case the results of the Russian parliamentary elections are not recognized.
"Russia can be a democratic country. The EU must develop comprehensive principles, a strategy based on fundamental European values <…> Our primary goal is to protect democracy. The EU and its institutions should proceed from the assumption that changes in Russia can be possible," the statement runs.
The report also proposes:
Regardless of political views, it is absolutely clear that this report comes as interference in Russia's internal affairs. The EU will easily find reasons not to recognize the results of Russian elections?
All resolutions of the European Parliament are not mandatory for implementation. Otherwise, it is even difficult to imagine how depressing the relations between the European Union and Russia would be today. At the same time, Russia should respond to such reports, provided that the European Parliament produces them on a regular basis. Quantity, so to speak, may someday grow into quality.