To help defrost the European Union’s relationship with Russia, the European Liberals and Democrats (ALDE) Group in the European Parliament launched a new strategy of “conditional engagement”

“The EU needs more than a joint position on sanctions. We need a proactive strategy to get the EU – Russia relationship out of its current stalemate and to motivate Russia to start behaving in a more responsible manner,” said ALDE leader Guy Verhofstadt.

“We need a strategy of “conditional engagement” with Russia, inspired by the Helsinki process of the seventies. We must be tough on corrupt Russian officials, but make sure that law-abiding Russian citizens are not punished by sanctions against the regime.”

ALDE’s process of “conditional engagement” includes four pillars: Citizens Opportunities (visa bans against corrupt Russian officials should continue, but Russian citizens should not be the victims of the sanctions), economic (investments should be opened up if Russia delivers on its commitments in respect to international law and European obligations), security (more European efforts using all the tools available to make Russia abide by international law) and political (dialogue with Moscow to make Russia implement the European Convention of Human Rights).