Russia EU Parliament condemns Navalny’s arrest, Finnish MEPs rejecting previous statement support new

Heinäluoma, Pekkarinen and Kumpula-Natri opposed a similar resolution. The Nord Stream entry still craves.


European on Thursday, parliament passed a resolution condemning the return of an opposition politician to Russia Alexei Navalnyin arrest and demand his release.

The resolution received 581 votes in favor, 50 against and 44 abstentions. All Finnish MEPs who voted supported the resolution. Basic Finns Teuvo Hakkarainen did not take part in the vote.

Last in September rose to headlines, how two Socialist MEPs (MEPs) Eero Heinäluoma and Miapetra Kumpula-Natri, as well as downtown Mauri Pekkarinen did not support the previous resolution condemning the Navalny poisoning.

At that time, there were several points behind the abstention, which, in the opinion of the representatives, went too far. They called, among other things, for the isolation of Russia and new economic sanctions.

Sanctions was finally imposed in October as personal sanctions. The most well-known and high-ranking individuals on the sanctions list are the first deputy director of the presidential administration Sergei Kirijenko and Director of Security Services FSB Alexander Bortnikov.

Thursday the statement is, in many respects, more moderate than MEPs. In addition, Russia has not taken the desired steps to ensure an international and independent investigation into the Navalny poisoning.

“After the Bellingcat investigation and the Navalny arrest, a reaction by a team of investigators is necessary. Enough facts have been said, and Navalny’s arrest must be responded to. The text is much better than it was in September, ”says Eero Heinäluoma.

Mauri Pekkarinen also voted in favor of the resolution this time. According to Pekkarinen, it is “in some respects different from the one approved in September”.

“It is clear that the Russian state was and is responsible for the poisoning of Navalny. And it is not acceptable that he has been arrested and imprisoned on clearly political grounds. “

This time, Kumpula-Natri will also be able to support Parliament’s statement, which he says is more equitable than before.

Kumpula-Natri welcomes the fact that the declaration also takes into account the new EU sanctions instrument adopted in December. It allows individuals or organizations to be sanctioned for human rights violations.

In the resolution Parliament called on the Council of Member States to significantly tighten restrictive measures against Russia and to impose sanctions on “Russian oligarchs with administrative ties and members of President Putin’s insiders who have property in the EU and can travel freely to Member States.

The EU Parliament does not have the power to impose sanctions, but decisions are taken in the Council of Ministers of the member states. It will meet next Monday.

However, the European Parliament’s resolution was once again in the headlines, as it contains a record of the closure of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project. Heinäluoma, Kumpula-Natri and Pekkarinen voted against the entry in the amendment vote, but the sentence remained in the final statement.

“I do not see that it would make economic, credibility or even EU gas demand to close Nord Stream now,” says Kumpula-Natri.

Nord Opposition to Stream 2 has already been in Parliament’s statements in the past and the entry is not new. The topical issue, however, is the fact that the United States has tightened economic sanctions on Russia. Among other things, the shipping companies involved in the Nord Stream 2 construction project are subject to sanctions.

According to Heinäluoma, the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline has become a deeply political project.

The United States benefits from Nord Stream’s problems in selling its own liquefied natural gas. The Baltics and Poland have highlighted the growing political influence of Russia. Southern EU countries would like a southern gas pipeline to replace the northern one.

“In Finland, we have started from the premise that it is an economic project and have assessed the construction of the pipeline in accordance with our own environmental legislation. Sweden and Denmark have also reached the same conclusion through different twists and turns, ”Heinäluoma describes.

Heinäluoma emphasizes that the EU must also stay behind its words in the gas pipeline.

“Finland represents the line that when something is done, we stand behind the words. It would not be detrimental for the EU to do the same. “

The disputed gas pipeline runs from the bottom of the Baltic Sea from Russia to Germany, largely following the guidelines of the existing Nord Stream 1 pipeline. The main owner of the pipes is the Russian Gazprom, but there are also German energy companies, including Uniper. The Finnish energy company Fortum owns a majority stake in Uniper.

Parliamentary the declaration has little weight in EU foreign policy, as the member states make joint decisions. Russia in particular has found it difficult for the EU to take a foreign policy approach, as the national lines of the member states vary.

The core country for Nord Stream 2 decisions is Germany. In the fall, the Chancellor Angela Merkel caused a small uproar when he hinted that Germany was ready to change its position on Nord Stream in a negative direction.

Merkel answered a question about the gas pipeline on Thursday. According to him, Germany’s position has not changed, meaning the country continues to support construction, the Reuters news agency said.


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