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Gunnar Hökmarks anförande i plenum om situationen i Ryssland

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Gunnar Hökmark (EPP). – Madam President, I think there is nothing more important for European security than to understand the nature of the Russia of today. It is not the Russia of its citizens; it is the Russia of the Putin regime: always fearing its citizens and fearing democracy.

That’s why it wants to undermine democracy and the rule of law wherever it exists, in neighbouring countries, in Europe and at home. And it has to demonstrate the brutal willingness to use force. That explains Salisbury, Syria, Georgia, Ukraine, the murder of Russian citizens abroad and in Russia and the ongoing warfare in Ukraine, disinformation and destabilisation.

All these are signs of a regime that is afraid and needs to use covert operations, needs to use criminal activities. I think our response must be: ‘we know what you’re doing, we know who is doing it and we will punish criminal activities. We will sanction the policies that are undermining democracy, and we will highlight when you are acting against us. We are strong and you are weak’.


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