EGP Resolution adopted at the 34th EGP Council, 30 November - 4 December 2021
Future Relations with Russia must be based on values, the rule of law and fundamental rights
The Russian government continues its systematic efforts to move its country further away from standards of international law, democracy and human rights and locking it into ever-greater dependency on fossil-fuel exports, rent-seeking and a corruption-based economy model. Moreover, the Russian government continues its attempts of political and economic influence over Eastern Partnership countries and the countries that had historic or cultural ties with Russia, inhibiting these countries' path towards democracy and the respect for human rights, at times threatening their sovereignty and inflicting irreparable harm. This strategic choice by the Russian government is a test for the EU, European democracies, civil societies and thus to us as a green movement. It is time to further define and strongly defend our positions based on our green values, including sustainability, transparency, the rule of law and fundamental rights.
Our green overarching objective is to shape our relationship with the Russian Federation in such a way that:
- regional and global peace and stability, as well as norms of international law are preserved;
- the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries in Europe are restored and secured;
- human rights, democracy and the rule of law are prioritised; while we
- keep and create possibilities for collaboration to solve common problems.
The European Union, its Member States, other European states and allies must clearly denounce any violations of international law by the Russian government or its affiliated actors, consistently take resolute countermeasures, while keeping their credibility and refraining from applying double standards. At the same time, we should aim for institutional cooperation with Russia in international organisations and multilateral treaties in order to promote complementary or equal interests, such as in the realm of climate change, environmental issues and the green transformation of Russia, the EU and neighbouring countries, in particular by making use of the unique opportunities offered by the European Green Deal. A prerequisite of such institutional collaboration is the mutual understanding that joining forces in certain specific fields does not presuppose any concessions in others, especially those concerning values. While seeking such cooperation, we should always consider the geostrategic risks resulting from abuse of such cooperation by the Russian government. Solidarity among the EU, its Member States, other European states and allies must not be undermined by their respective Russia policies but must foster mutual cooperation and trust. Before joining economic projects, we should ensure that such projects do not damage European solidarity, benefit corrupt individuals or entities, or have a negative impact on human rights or the environment.
Therefore, we, the European Green Party, base our vision for relations with the Russian Federation on the following principles:
1. Prioritising support for the citizens of Russia, their fundamental rights and a democratic Russian civil society.
2. Using every means possible to support, financially and otherwise, independent civil society, human rights defenders, lawyers, journalists, bloggers and activists, in particular those fighting for the rights of women and marginalised groups, and climate and environmental action in Russia.
3. Demanding that the Russian authorities release all those unjustly imprisoned for political reasons and stop the harassment, intimidations and attacks on civil society, media, human rights defenders and activists and, where appropriate, facilitate the issuing of emergency and multiple entry visas and provide temporary shelter.
4. Strengthening people-to-people contacts with the citizens of Russia, lowering visa barriers and broadening exchange programmes, as well as direct recruitment opportunities for both high- and low-skill workers from Russia, and creating and widening opportunities for politically motivated immigrants from Russia to settle in Europe.
5. Supporting fundamental human rights, including championing gender equality, LGBTIQ+ rights and minority rights in Russia, and helping oppressed citizens in Russia, fighting racism, xenophobia, hate crimes, police brutality, and other forms of discrimination or persecution.
6. Expecting European governments, especially in the EU, to implement their commitments to gender mainstreaming in all external actions and raising the issues of gender equality, women’s rights and gender-based violence in their interactions with the Russian Federation and raising awareness among the population.
7. Calling on European governments to go beyond treating the political elite as the sole political actor in the country, and to increase engagement with the Russian regions in order to open the door to more independent cooperation with regional and local actors.
8. Continuously calling on Russia to repeal or amend all laws incompatible with international standards, such as the ‘foreign agents’ law and the law on ‘undesirable’ organisations, and insisting on the independence of the judiciary, and the right to fair trial and access to legal counsel.
9. Calling on the Russian government and State Duma to revise the legal framework for elections, including on election observation, to facilitate pluralism and free and fair elections according to international standards, including to lift the ban on political opponents from participating in elections.
10. Pushing for an EU anti-corruption sanctions regime to complement the current EU Global Human Rights Sanctions Regime, and also insisting on sanctions that target the financing of intelligence services and the military, as well as the oil and gas sector, in the event of further escalation.
11. Supporting nuclear disarmament, arms reduction and arms control aimed at reducing the risk of nuclear detonation for the European continent, through reciprocal regional disarmament, both conventional and the nuclear, and the creation of nuclear weapon free zones.
12. Advocating for the proper implementation of anti-money-laundering rules and more transparency, especially in relation to the Russian elite’s funds and assets deposited or spent in the EU.
13. Continuing to support the Eastern Partnership (EaP) countries in upholding their independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity within their internationally recognised borders, and condemning Russia’s direct and indirect involvement in armed conflicts in the EaP and human rights violations carried out on territories occupied or annexed by Russia. In order to balance the political and economic influence of Russia over the Eastern Partnership countries, the EU should offer EaP countries a long-term perspective for EU integration. This perspective should include a plan of financial support with strict measures focused on anti-corruption, transparency, and good governance. This funding should fully align with the European Green Deal. Moreover, the EU should monitor and support, where possible, the democratic processes and media freedom in these countries.
14. Continuing to support Balkan countries to protect them from interference by Russia and its agents. Supporting and strengthening free media, nongovernmental organisations, as well as peace and reconciliation efforts between different ethnic and religious communities.
15. Demanding strengthened resilience and countermeasure capabilities against hybrid interference, in particular to counter propaganda and disinformation originating from Russia and spread in other countries, as well as cyber-attacks and military espionage. We demand the end of foreign financing of European political parties or political movements with the exception of membership fees. For this, loopholes for legal and illegal practices within the EU must be closed by harmonising provisions on financing of political activities and regulating political online advertisements.
16. Further supporting the independent media, journalists and bloggers in Russia so as to strengthen alternative sources and channels that are not controlled by the Kremlin.
17. Pushing for effective strategies in the field of digital policy in order to use technological standards and the open internet to support free spaces and restrict oppressive technologies.
18. Continuing to oppose the use of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline and the expansion of Russia’s nuclear-energy sector, as well as systematically reviewing similar bilateral projects that undermine the principle of solidarity, supporting corruption or leading to human rights violations.
19. Advocating for an ambitious and resolute European green agenda and reducing our dependency on Russian gas and oil, and other raw materials, including by accelerating the implementation of the European Green Deal and pushing for 100% renewables