European Interest

EU-Russia relations: MEPs condemn the decision by the Russian authorities to expel three EU diplomats

flickr/Ministerio de Asuntos Exteriores y de Cooperación/CC BY 2.0

Statement by leading MEPs on EU-Russia relations on the expulsion of three EU diplomats from Russia.

“We strongly condemn the recent decision by the Russian Federation to expel from the country three EU diplomats, respectively from Germany, Poland and Sweden. The expulsion of those diplomats is utterly unjustified and runs counter to the letter and spirit of the Vienna convention, which explicitly allows diplomats to ascertain by all lawful means conditions and developments in the receiving State, and report thereon to the Government of the sending State.                                                                                                      We therefore urge the Russian Federation to respect international law and reverse its decision. A failure to do so would be yet another signal of the will of the Russian Federation to disrespect the international commitments it has freely assumed.                                 In this respect, we ask all EU Member States to show maximum solidarity with Germany, Poland and Sweden and take all appropriate steps to show the cohesiveness and strength of our Union.                                                                                                             We also reiterate the European Parliament’s call to devise a new strategy for the EU’s relations with Russia, centred around support for civil society, which promotes democratic values, the rule of law, fundamental freedoms and human rights.                                 With that in mind, we welcome the intention declared by the Vice-President of the European Commission/High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, to have a dedicated discussion on EU-Russia relations with the EU Member States at the Foreign Affairs Council on 22 February, which should include the adoption of new sanctions, where appropriate also in the framework of the recently approved EU human’s rights sanctions regime.”

The statement is co-signed by:                                                                                   The Chair of the Committee on Foreign AffairsDavid McAllister (EPP, DE),                     The European Parliament’s standing rapporteur on Russia, Andrius Kubilius (EPP, LT),    and The Chair of the Delegation to the EU-Russia Parliamentary Cooperation CommitteeRyszard Czarnecki (ECR, PL).

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