Monday, September 21, 2009


The S&D Group called on Russia to investigate murders of human rights activists and bring those responsible to justice. It welcomed Russian President Dmitry Medvedev's commitment on the issue.

The Group tabled a motion in Strasbourg but could not agree a joint text with other groups because they wanted to address other human rights issues.

In a joint statement, Group vice-presidents Veronique de Keyser, Adrian Severin and Hannes Swoboda said: “These issues are undoubtedly important but they are not directly related to the subject of this debate.

“The other groups' resolution addresses the general situation in the North Caucasus. Whilst the volatile situation there, which has multiple and complex causes, is certainly of great concern both for Russia and international community, making unqualified judgements about the Russian role there does not help the purpose of this resolution. The S&D therefore voted for its own motion.

“The S&D Group believes that a better way to address human rights concerns in Russia is to step up EU-Russia Human Rights Consultations and the opening up of this process to effective input from the European Parliament, the State Duma, civil society and human rights organisations both in the EU and Russia.

“The S&D Group stresses that protection of human rights should be a special item for the next EU-Russia summit. It should become an integral part of a new EU-Russia agreement, in line with EU values and principles, as well as Russia's obligations as a member of the OSCE and of the Council of Europe.

“The S&D intends to contribute to the dialogue on human rights and other issues of common interest in forthcoming meetings with Russian political figures”.

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