On EU – Russia relations, Hökmark amendments

Gunnar Hökmark has proposed a number of amendments to the draft report of Gabrielius Landsbergis for European Parliament– seen by Hökmark as an excellent proposal – on the relations between EU and Russia, where some further points of departure could be:


• The fact that the Russian Ministry of Justice has decided to include the Council of Ministers’ office in St Petersburg on its list of foreign agents, thereby limiting an important dialogue and cooperation between the Nordic countries and Northwest Russia,


• That a number of officials representing the Russian Government has made public threats about the risks of military and even nuclear attacks on Nordic countries,


• That the Russian military activities around the Baltic Sea has developed into bigger and more provocative military exercises and manoeuvres as a mean to demonstrate military capacity for military operations directed at the Baltic and the Nordic countries,


• and that the Transparency International ranks Russia 136 out of 175 countries on its corruption perception index, Russia poses a serious concern with regard to international corruption and money laundering which in its turn is a threat to European economies and their integrity,



To the article in the report underlining the importance of developing an Energy Union Gunnar Hökmark proposes the addition that the aim should be:


• transforming the energy trade in Europe so that it becomes more transparent and thereby creating a true free market with greater efficiency; applying the full scale of European competition legislation to foreign actors as well as domestic;


On the issues of defence cooperation with Russia Gunnar Hökmark wants a strong European position:


• Calls for the prohibiton of all cooperation with Russia in the defence sector,


On the criterias for the development of future relations and cooperation Gunnar Hökmark underlines:



• that must Russia respect its obligations to the Helsinki Final Act, the UN convention of Human rights, and the Council of Europe;


• that Russian troops must be withdrawn from the territories of Ukraine before sectorial sanctions may be lifted and normal relations between EU and Russia can be reinstated, stresses that continued weapon supplies and military operations in Ukraine must lead to increased sanctions,


• that the idea of starting negotiations on any new trade arrangement with Russia as long as Russia does not recognize its international commitments and the sovereignty of other countries should be rejected,


• that future agreements on free trade can be discussed only when Russia respects international laws as well as its treaties and agreements with neighbouring countries;


• that the European Union must remain firm and consistent towards a Russian regime that is invading, occupying, threatening and provoking its neighbours and Member States in the Union and neglecting international commitments as well as rule of law but open for a Russia accepting an international cooperation based upon rule of law, democracy and respect for the sovereignty and integrity of other countries,


In order to facilitate for the Russian society to develop and relate itself to Europe Gunnar Hökmark proposes:


• that European Parliament should underline the need for cooperation and dialogue between the Russian society and Europe,


• that Russian authorities should keep channels for this open and not closing or limiting the activities and opportunities of European countries and the European society to contribute to this,


• that European media and European public service broadcasters should offer their services in the Russian language, accessible for Russians as well as for Russian speaking minorities in the European Neighbourhood,