We cannot say that the relations between Russia and the EU are ideal. We could manage to have a constructive dialogue on economic issues, but the things turn out different, when it comes to political issues, Chechnya, first and foremost. The Europarliament started passing a lot of resolutions regarding the situation in Chechnya, representing Russia as a monster that is destroying the Chechen nation.
The short friendship between Russia and the USA, which appeared after the tragic events of September 11, was reduced to nothing very quickly, and the European parliamentarians started it all again. Russian mass media outlets published the revelations of the head of the State Duma committee for international affairs, Dmitry Rogozin, who claimed that Russia’s incorporation into the Council of Europe “was a mistake.” Needless to mention that PACE deputies are the most active critics of Russia’s policy in Chechnya and Rogozin’s statement would not be an outstanding thing to say against such a background. However, there was one thing more. The speaker of Russia’s Federation Council, Sergey Mironov, is currently on a visit to Strasbourg, and he does not want such a gift now (taking into consideration the fact that they still remember his recent visit to the Middle East, where Mironov almost turned out to be a complete blunderer, having refused to have a meeting with Yasser Arafat.
Mironov can not bear another such incident, keeping in mind the fact that the Russian president highlights the issues of European cooperation. Therefore, Mironov said that Dmitry Rogozin’s statement was “strange and irrational.” Then, he started singing praises to PACE’s address: “The approach of the European organizations to the issues about Russia has changed, as well as the tone of the reports that are related to Russia. This is a token of the real steps and progress of our country for the sake of promotion of democratic values in Russia, and I believe that it is rather strange to release such statements against this background,” – Sergey Mironov said.
He also stressed that he is certain of the necessity of Russia’s participation in the activities of European structures: “There cannot be Europe without Russia, and there cannot be Russia without Europe.” Mironov added that Dmitry Rogozin’s words regarding Russia’s membership in the Council of Europe “were his personal point of view.”
It doesn't mater if it is a personal point of view or the position of the entire committee for international affairs of the State Duma, or maybe, all Russian deputies think in such a way, but this personal point of view does not exist anymore. Dmitry Rogozin refused to acknowledge his words today. He said that he was misunderstood.
Rogozin said that he set forth his point of view that “it would be more reasonable for Russia not to take the obligations that cannot be executed in front of the Council of Europe.” “I said that it would be better for Russia to adopt several European conventions to Russian laws.” Rogozin added that “Russia’s behavior at PACE must be on the offensive; we must take more active positions and not to behave like junior schoolboys.”
It is hard to say what actually happened. Maybe someone put pressure on Rogozin, maybe not, or maybe the mass media misinterpreted the information indeed. However, it doesn't actually matter: Rogozin’s rejection did not help Russia at all. The Europarliament passed another resolution on Chechnya.
Three hundred and twenty-six deputies voted for the new law, which has an explicit anti-Russian, non-constructive orientation. Russian deputies do not think that it was just a coincidence that the Europarliament passed the resolution right after the US Senate passed a resolution “on the condemnation of the violation of human rights in Chechnya and the necessity to politically settle the conflict.”
The State Duma deputies do not understand why the European resolution was passed before the European parliamentarians visited Chechnya, where they could have had the opportunity to become acquainted with the state of things and see everything with their own eyes.
The State Duma deputies paid attention to the fact that the deputies of the European parliament ignored the positive changes in Chechnya, about which they were repeatedly informed by the official government of the Russian Federation. Russian deputies also pointed out the fact that the Europarliament did not want to pay any attention to the violation of human rights in the so-called countries of traditional democracy. The State Duma deputies are sure that the European parliamentarians are continuing a policy of double standards in the field of human rights, categorizing countries as ones that can do whatever they want to others that can be easily criticized.
Dmitry Chirkin PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Dmitry Sudakov