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Home arrow newsitems arrow CoE : Minority Amendment on Crimea triggers Russian Delegation's exit from PanEuropean Assembly ?!

CoE : Minority Amendment on Crimea triggers Russian Delegation's exit from PanEuropean Assembly ?!

Written by ACM
Thursday, 10 April 2014



*Strasbourg/CoE/Angelo Marcopolo/- It might look incredible, but Facts prove that it can really be true : One of the most Dangerous incidents in the Post-War period, which obviously risks to push the entire European Continent back into a kind of "Cold War II" era of the Past, i.e. push the Russian Delegation out of CoE's PanEuropean Assembly (PACE), seems, indeed, to have been triggered mainly by the adoption of a particular Amendment, which added, at the last minute, more Sanctions than initially scheduled, but, in fact, wasn't supported but only by a Minority of MEPs present this week in Strasbourg ! After new PACE's President Anne Brasseur, former Chairwoman of the Liberal Group, from Luxembourg, anounced a decision to "merge" 2 Motions, (one asking to reject Russian MEPs' credentials, while another prefered to "Freeze" their Voting Rights), its Monitoring Committee discussed and voted on a Draft Resoluton which mainly asked to Suspend their Right to Vote inside PACE until January 2015, but also to organize an Enquiry on what rreally happened around the recent Crisis in Ukraine, due to present its conclusions at the same Time Deadline (1/2015), as its Chairman, Austrian Socialist MEP, Stefan Schennach confirmed to "EuroFora" as early as already since last Monday afternoon (See relevant "NewsReport" : ......).

Since such a Solution could both stress CoE's Principles against the controversial "Annexation" ("ReUnification" after Referendum, according to Russians) of Crimea peninsula, but also give a Chance to eventually find out who was really Responsible, particularly for that sudden eruption of Deadly Violence at Kiev, which trampled underfoot a Peaceful Political Agreement that had just been concluded between the then Ukranian President Janukovich and the Leaders of the Opposition at "Maidan" square, in the active presence of 3 Key EU Foreign Ministers from France, Germany and Poland, (Fabius, Steinmeyer and Sickorski), CoE had apparently succeeded to find a kind of indirect temporary Compromise, as the experienced President of its Political Committee, f. Foreign Minister, Dora Bakogiani from Greece, (the current EU Chair for Jan.-June 2014), and the Head of Russia's Delegation to PACE, President of Duma's Foreign affairs Committee, Alexey Pushkov, explained in substance to "EuroFora"on Tuesday.

But, a Press Conference held on Wednesday by a group of more Critical MEPs, and a series of Amendments adding more Heavy Sanctions against Russian MEPs, (even by the initial Author of the Voting Suspension demand which had become, meanwhile, key part of a Compromise, Dutch Liberal MEP Jensen...), which were suddenly lodged on Late Evening, just after a particularly "Hot" and Controversial PACE Debate and Vote for anOther Resolution about all  the February and March 2013 Events at Ukraine, earlier Today Afternoon, seems to have radically Changed the situation ...

+ Moreover, despite CoE's Chairman, Austrian President Heinz Fischer's friendly advise, in a Landmark Speech and Replies to MEPs' Questions at PACE's Plenary on Wednesday's noon, where, after confirming CoE's general Principles, he also vainly Warned against some trends to Exclude any "Federal" structure from Ukraine's Future, as well as Military "Neutrality", (which had both helped ensure "Peace and Stability in my own Country, Austria", as he reminded), while also inviting to be "Careful" vis a vis Russia, since "if one Closes doors, it's often Difficult to open them afterwards", as he observed, an often Thin but almost always Present Majority inside PACE, at a subsequent Debate on Ukraine, held later on Wednesday Afternoon, added more and more Amendments Critical v. Russia, to an already considerably Critical Report drafted by 2 MEPs from Sweden and Esthonia, Mrs Marietta de Pourbaix-Lundin and Mailis Reps, while Russian MEPs' replies and/or proposals were almost all Rejected, (with considerable Fluctuations among Many other MEPs, however, particularly on reported Needs to Protect Russian-Speaking Minorities, on denunciations of some "Extremist, Fascist Groups" as "Swoboda", "Right Sector", etc. inside the New Ukranian Coalition, etc., and with the Unique Exception of the Adoption of only one Amendment urging the current Ukranian Government to Respect Freedom of Press and Expression).

The overall result, going well beyond a Strong Denunciation of Russia's controversial reaction at Crimea (aggressive "Annexation" according to Critics and CoE's current Majority, defensive "ReUnification" after a Popular Referendum,     ; according to Russian MEPs), to the previous Violent Clashes and Total Power-Shift at Kiev, (that Moscow notoriously considers as an Illegal Usurpation of Power by violence and deceipt, brandishing also a French University Professor's reported verdict, and sticking to the sudden Abandonment of the February 21 Agreement between President Yanukovich and Oppositions' Leaders under the auspices of Foreign Ministers from France, Germany and Poland), obviously added another Negative impression mainly to the Russian Delegation, (See Infra), included the rejection of Amendments trying to drop a call for "Tangible Security Agreements" to Ukraine, probably given the well-known sensitivity of nearby Moscow vis a vis an eventual, direct or indirect, Extension of NATO, etc. -


=> - Thus, after finding Useless to Table any counter-Amendment in their favour until late Wednesday Evening, even after a last-minute Extension of the Time Deadline for one more Hour, until 9 p.m., anounced by PACE's President Brasseur, the Russian Delegation clearly declared, in unexpected Press Statements reportedly made at Early Thursday Morning in Strasbourg out of CoE's premisses, (apparently at the nearby Russian Embassy/Permanent Representation), that, given what they denounced as a too Negative, Insulting and Arbitrary attitude against them by a Group  which controlled de facto PACE and heavily "Distorted" Facts, they felt obliged to immediately Stop Participating at CoE's Parliamentary Assembly's activities, and would subsequently decide on whether they will Return back at the PACE or abandon it, according to what would be the Conclusion of Thursday's CoE Debate and Vote on certain other MEPs' demands for Sanctions, (Comp. Supra). -------------------------------

[PACE Rapporteur + Secretariat with one (1) MEP surounded by many Empty seats..]

=> In Consequence, it's inside an Exceptionaly Empty from any MEP from Russia (CoE's Biggest Member Country, whose diplomatic Permanent Representative, Ambassador Alexander Aleksev, was, however, present at the PACE), as well as from certain Other Countries (Comp.Infra),  that the PanEuropean Assembly discussed and Voted on the demands for Sanctions, going well beyond Thursday's Noon, in an Unusual in Strasbourg quasi-Monologue of Complaints against Russia, (with just a few Exceptions by certain MEPs from various Countries and/or Political Groups who found that too much to their taste). Curiously, moreover, not even one present MEP from Ukraine didn't represent the Opposition (former Governing Majority), nor the slightest Discending voice, for the first time, contrary to CoE's traditional Polyphonic political Pluralism.


(CoE's Photographer tries to find an interesting MEP among many Empty seats..

Certainly, a Large Majority of MEPs (More than 120 against only 50) repeatedly Rejected all Attempts by a Minority to "Cancel" Russian Delegation's Credentials to CoE's PanEuropean Assembly, following its Rapporteur's advise, and focused, instead on asking a Suspension of Russian MEPs' Voting Rights until January 2015, (i.e.prefering the Second among 2 Differend Motions for Resolution which had both been Drafted and Lodged previously, since March, curiously by more or less the Same MEPs !).


+ But, in Addition to various other, even more Critical Amendments adopted in these conditions, Hardening further the Draft Resolution at several points, (f.ex. to stress that what it initially named as "Violation of International Law" at Crimea, would be a "Grave" one, etc), suddenly, some among the Same MEPs who had Previously preferred to Avoid any Cancellation of Credentials, proposing instead to "Suspend Voting Rights" (Comp. supra) of the Russian Delegation at the PACE, tabled a much Harsher Amendment clearly Threatening now to "Reserve the right tio Annul (its) Credentials, IF the Russian Federation does not ... Withdraw the Annexation of Crimea".


CoE's Assembly appeared rather Divided on this Additional point, since it wasn't adopted but only with some 100 Votes for, and 76 against + abstentions, (to which should be added also the "No" of all the numerous Russian MEPs who had exceptionaly Not Participated to that Vote : Comp.Supra), contrary to various Other Amendments which had a much larger support than that Controversial proposal.

++ Nevertheless, as the Head of the Russian Delegation to the PACE, President of Duma's Foreign Affairs Committee, Alexey Pushkov, anounced, shortly after those Votes, to Journalists, including "EuroFora", at the sidelines of a Press Conference in the CoE, (exceptionally obliged to be held only in Russian Language, given an unusual Lack of any Translator at earlly Afternoon), that the Main Reason for which Russian MEPs feel now obliged to Abstain from Participating to Any PACE activity, whatever, pending a Final Decision on whether to collectively Leave the PACE and go away in the Future, due to be taken Definitively in "2 or 3 Weeks" (as "EuroFora" learned by Russian sources later-on), marking an Unprecedented, since the End of the Cold War, and Dangerous, new East-West Divide in Europe, was, in fact, anOther :




>>> - "It's mainly because of the adoption even of the Amendment No 7, which "Suspends"  Russian MEPs' "Rights to be Represented in the (PACE's) Bureau..., the Presidential Committee, the Standing Committee", as well as "to Participate in Election' Observation Missions", that we decided to leave, because, after such Exclusions (from PACE's Governing Bodies) our presence inside the PACE would have No Sense !", Alexey Pushkov denounced in his only statement in French, (all the rest staying just in Russian, for numerous collegues from Moscow, etc)....

>>> Surprisingly, however, that Crucial Amendment, which added at the last minute an initially unforseen and even Harsher Sanction obviously Risking to Trigger a long series of Dangerous Reactions, in fact, wasn't supported but only by a .. Minority of MEPs inside PACE, so that it canNot be described as reflecting any eventual "Majority" Political Will democraticaly expressed at the CoE !  Indeed, it got only 92 Votes for, while another 93 MEPs (i.e. +1 more !) were Against or abstained. In addition to the latter, in order to have an idea of the Paneuropean Assembly's real political will, should be normally taken into account also the "No" Votes that the numerous Russian MEPs would have normally casted , if they were present and free to participate, togetrher with several others among their supporters. All these Facts, taken together, clearly reveal that those who pushed that Controversial but Crucial Amendment No 7 were, indeed, unquestionably a Minority.


Among those MEPs who explicitly Opposed that crucial Amendment, were, f.ex., even the (otherwise Critical) President of the Biggest Political Group in the PACE, that of ChristianDemocrats/EPP, MEP Pedro Agramunt, from the Governing Spanish Party, together with the Presidents of Euro-Left Group, Dutch MEP Tiny Cox, and of the Liberal Group, Jordi Xucla, also Spanish, (contrary to the President of the Socialist Group, Andreas Gross, who voted "For" adding that too Harsh Sanction, as well as the Head of the French Governing Socialist party's delegation, René Rouquert, etc). Considering also the fact that it's the Russian MEP Alexey Pushkov who is the current President of the EDG Group, it clearly results that, cusiously, its .. only the Socialist Group's President, Gross, who, Alone among his Pairs, backed that Further Sanction, while, on the Contrary, ALL other 4 Political Groups' Presidents were Against !
Moreover, the "No" was also prefered by the immediate Past President of the PACE, French ChristianDemocrat/EPP MEP Jean-Claude Mignon, together with all other French ChristianDemocrat/EPP MEPs, as f.ex. Thierry Mariani, Yves Pozzo Di Borgo, etc., (while, on the Contrary, 3 French Socialist MEPs voted "For", one abstained, and only one was "against").

Significantly, the MEP who took the responsibility to speak in Plenary "Against" that Amendment No 7 which excluded Russian MEPs from PACE's Leading Bodies until 2015, was the Head of the National Delegation of Finland, Maria Guzenina-Richardson, from a Country Neighbouring to Russia (as Ukraine), and "Neutral" (i.e. NATO-free), which hasn't any notable problem at all with Moscow, but cooperates more and more often with it : – "If we want to (be)... Open to parliamentary Dialogue, ... we should Not Close the Doors on Russia to such Important Bodies of the Assembly", the Top MEP warned.

Even if it's true that another last-minute Oral Sub-Amendment limited this Suspension of Russian MEPs' Rights inside the PACE "until the End of the 2014 Session", nevertheless, given both the fact that this appeared practically nullified by the parallel adoption of a Threat to even Advance as far as Ask to Cancell the Credentials of the Russian Delegation, if Crimea wasn't returned back to its previous situation before January 2015 (Comp. Supra), while, moreover, the Suspension of Voting Rights from April up to December 2014 meant also that the new CoE's Secretary General would have been elected, meanwhile,  without any endorsement by the Biggest and more Populous Member Country : Russia, who usualy holds also a Strong Stance on several Topical BioEthical Controversies, (as, f.ex. on the Protection of Natural Familly and particularly Children from certain Controversial Demands pushed by an Homosexual, LGBTI Lobby, partly manipulated by Technocrats, f.ex. in order to elarge Artificial Procreations of Human Beings  by Surrogate Mothers, Medically Assisted Procreations, IVF, PreNatal Screenings, Sperm and/or Ovaries' "Banks", by imposing Same Sex Mariages, Adoption of Children by Homosexuals, etc), as well as on Monitoring the way Authorities Treat Dissidents f.ex. in France and other Countries, (f.ex. denonciations of Police brutality vis a vis Peaceful Demonstrators, Harassement allegedly targeting Opposition Politicians, Journalists, etc.), on the need to protect Citizens' Personal Data vis a vis Internet Spying (comp. Snowden's revelations and CoE's declared will to Draft Internet Rules on Data Protection, etc),  on Cyber-Security, on combatting Deadly Terrorism while safeguarding Democracy and Human Rights, on Danube EU - Black Sea ship transport links, on European Culture, History and Identity (comp. relevant CoE's Debates), on Stateless Persons and the Right to a Nationality (comp. f. ex. CoE Human Rights' Commissioner's frequent Statements on Russian-speaking Populations in certain Countries, on Refugees, etc., as well as PACE's relevant Reports), on Climate change, Arctic Ocean, Space Research, on the Political issues of Cyprus, Ukraine, Belarussia, Western Balkans, Caucasus, Armenia-Azerbaidjan, Syria, even Libya, Syria (comp. f.ex. the recent succesful Agreement on withdrawing Chemical Weapons, nearby Geneva Peace Talks), the Middle East, even Soudan (see f.ex. Russia's cooperation with UNO's Peace-keepig Mission on the spot), etc.

But, after even such an obviously Excessive Sanction was adopted by manouvering in fact with only a Minority of MEPs (See Facts cited Supra), all Russian MEPs collectively decided to Withdraw from CoE's PanEuropean Assembly, pending their Final Decision to definitvely leave it, or not, (Comp. Supra), to the point that even the Rapporteur of PACE who was working on a so delicate and topical Human Rights issue as currently is in European a.o. post-modern Societies the "Removal of Children from their Families : Legislation and Practice", Russian MEP Olga Borzova, felt obliged to be exceptionaly Absent, later this Afternoon, at an Exceptional Top Level Hearing on her Report, organized by PACE's Social, Health and Development Committee, with the participation of UNO's Committee on Childrens' Rights' Rapporteur, Maria Herczog from Hungary, and ECHR's Filtering Section's Registrar, Karen Reid, etc., as the competent CoE's Committee's Chairman, Valeriu Giletchi from Moldova, a.o., confirmed to "EuroFora".

=> Considering Geo-Political stakes, some Russian Experts, replying this Afternoon  to "EuroFora"s Questions, even found interesting and speculated about a possible creation of an inter-Parliamentary dimension, inside the brand new EurAsian Organisation of Shanghai, Headquartered at that famous International (New York-like) city of China, that Russian President Vladimir Putin seems repotedly Ready to Visit, soon after the 1st ever Foreign Trip of New Chinese President Xi Jiping recently to Russia (extending afterwards also to other key BRICS' Countries, up to a Heads of State/Government Summit in South Africa, etc), even before his subsequent visit to the EU, a few Days ago. Therefore, the Question inevitably raised, here in Strasbourg, Today is :  - Who might have any Interest to provoke a situation in which, instead of thinking how to attract to the CoE, in adequate conditions, f.ex. with a Special Status of "Observer", as that of USA, Canada, Mexico and Japan, etc., also the only UNO Security Council's Permanent Member which hasn't yet any institutionalized premanent link with Strasbourg's Organization : China, (as f.ex. the experienced former PACE's President, French mainstream ChristianDemocrat/EPP MEP Jean-Claude Mignon has already suggested since a long time ago : See, f.ex. ...), on the contrary, after such a Harsh Move as that, in fact, Minority Amendment No 7 (See Facts cited above), it's now the CoE which may Risk to progressively Lose in practice its biggest Member Country : Russia, recently more and more attracted; notoriously, towards an "EurAsian" Strategy looking towards Vladivoctok's Coasts to the immense Pacific Ocean, (facing the 2 Koreas, Japan, Australia and even .. the USA !). I.e. inevitably reminding a "Chinese Map" existing (according to a BBC collegue) at EU Commissioner for Markets, experienced former Minister, French ChristianDemocrat/EPP Top Politician, Michel Barnier's office in Brussels, (which, by the way, obviously takes thus a Strange look of a lonely ... "Far West", in such special Geopoliical settings)...


- Who "Isolates" whom ?  EU Commissioner Barnier's "Chinese Map", according to BBC, makes Brussels (and even Strasbourg) look as a kind of lonely "Far West"....

. -------------------------------------------------------

 Such Dangerous GeoPolitical Games, notoriously Playing with Fire in Europe, and risking to provoke an obvious "Lose/Lose" (instead of "Win/Win") situation, about - "Who Isolates whom ?",  as the above mentioned "Chinese Map" of the World clearly indicates, (Comp. Supra), run also Contrary to one among the main messages that new China's President Xi Jinping's 1st official Visit to the EU, gave just a few Days ago, particularly when he focused, during his trip accross Germany, at the brand new, Trans-Continental Railway Transport Links between China and Europe : A kind of "New Silk Road", (from the Historic name of the Pathway that famous Venitian Explorer Marco Polo had initially used, crossing then through the former Christian-Greek Byzantine Empire right to India over Imalaia Mountains (already followed by the Great Alexander since 300 BC !), towards nowadays Mongolia, mainly China, and Japan, before returning afterwards more by a Southern Sea Ships' Highway back towards Europe, where he notoriously played a key role in contributing to a European Renaissance, thanks also to the manifold Discoveries that he found at the Chinese Civilisation and brought Westwards in his well known Book) : But, unlike Marco Polo's 1.200 era's round trips, President Xi JinPing's  Strategic "New Silk Road", whose succesful completion he's just celebrated in Germany, instead, crosses through Siberia's Long Horizontal straight areas, i.e. via Russia, whose Stability and good Cooperation with the EU obviously becomes not only an Energy and Space High-Tech, as well as Cultural/Science, but also a Pioneer Trans-Continental strategic Transport Axis' asset of undeniable Value for all Europe, as well as a key link between the most Ancient EurAsian Civilisations nowadays, with a considerable Potential of Development in the foreseable Future.


+ CoE's "Dialogue to find a sustainable and Peaceful Solution" motion, tabled by key PACE MEPs :

That's one of the reasons for which it's naturally Understandable why the most Recent Motion, tabled at the CoE earlier this week, on April 8, while clearly denouncing any "Violation of the Territorial Integrity and Sovereignity of Ukraine", and even after finding "a serious Violation  of CoE's basic Principles", as it says, nevertheless, concludes by pointing not towards Sanctions against Russia, but mainly towards a "Call upon PACE's President, CoE's Committee of Ministers' Chairman, and CoE's Secretary General, "to convene, at the Earliest opportunity, a High-Level Meeting, with the Foreign Affairs Ministers of Ukraine and the Russian Federation, in order to Desescalate Tensions, and to Start a Dialogue to find a durable and Peaceful Solution to the present crisis", as advises the Text drafted by experienced ChristianDemocrat/EPP Dutch MEP Hans Franken, and signed mainly by the New President of PACE's Political affairs Committee, former Foreign Minister Mrs Dora Bakoyianni, from Greece (the current EU Chair), as well as the President of the EuroLeft Group Tiny Cox, some Socialist MEPs from the Netherlands, etc., as well as the Head of the German Delegation to PACE, Axel Fischer, and many other mainstream ChristianDemocrat/EPP or EDG Group's MEPs from several CoE Countries, such as, f.ex., Norway, Germany, Poland, Finland, the Netherlands,n Ireland, Slovak Republic, Spain, etc.

One could also understand, at least partly, some among what seem to be the main Complaints made by the Russian Delegation to the PACE Today, (even if most were said only in Russian language, by a regrettable, exceptional Lack of Translators at the Press Conference organized at the CoE in early Afternoon : Comp. Supra), and more or less supported by various Other MEPs from Differend CoE Member Countries who supported all or part of Russia's point of view, either in Yesterday Evening's or Today Morning's PACE Debates, respectively on the recent developments at Ukraine or the Crimea peninsula issue and Russian MEPs' credentials and rights (Comp. Supra) :  - They didn't want to Hear Anything from what we were saying, and several among them spoke with insults, almost a Hate against Russia, while also staying "Blind" even to the most blatant Facts, (etc), were some among the Complaints  reportedly made by Alexey Pushkov, Head of the Russian Delegation to the PACE and President of the EDG Group, and Leonid Slutsky, vice-President of PACE's Socialist Group, as an experienced Russian official later told "EuroFora", briefly  Summarizing some main parts of latters' original interventions at a Press Conference at the CoE, unfortunately made only in Russian, and exceptionaly lacking any translation, which apparently covered both Yesterday's PACE Debate on all-Ukraine developments, as well as Today's Debate on Crimea and Sanctions against Russia (Comp. : .......). One among the Strongest Complaints made by the Russian MEPs, was also that a slim Majority inside PACE had rejected any attempt to simply note the fact that a Part of the current, New Coalition in Power at Kiev, included even some notorious "Extremists", "Racists, NeoNAZI, Xenophobic" and "AntiSemitist" Grouplets, such as reportedly "Swoboda", "Right Sector", etc., even if they had been recently Denounced also by a Resolution of EU Parliament adopted recently in Strasbourg ! In addition, Pushkov branded also a Legal Analysis reportedly made by a French Professor in Law about the "UnConstitutional" and "Illegal" way that a part of the former Opposition Seized Power at Kiev, while all naturally denounced the notoriously Violent, Deadly interruption (including with some still Mysterious Killer "Snipers", etc), which Topped the Peaceful Agreement that had reached the former Ukranian President Yanukovich with the Leaders of the Opposition, under the auspices of 3 Key EU Foreign Ministers from France, Germany and Poland, on the 21st of February ; reported Threats of Harassment/Oppression against current Opposition Parties such as that of "Regions", the "CP", and/or the Russian-speaking Minorities ; the fact that Crimea wasn't an Historic part of Ukraine, but had been unilateraly attached to the former Region of Ukrania by a controversial decision of Khrutsev ; and/or that, contrary to several Inaccurate Accusations, Russia did Not "Invade" Crimea, since its Navy used traditionaly to stay there always at an important Defensive Base, which had been even recently Negotiated and Financially paid to the Ukranian State (a former-USSR land, and, in addition, Historic Birthplace of all Russian Civilisation, since Ancient Times) ; as well as the fact that a large Majority of the Population at Crimea really wished its "Re-Unification" back to Russia, as also a Popular Referendum (denounced by PACE's co-Rapporteurs as Irregular) attested, (Contrary, f.ex., to the Turkish Military Invasion in the Northern part of Cyprus, a Country with 3 Thousand Years' long Independent History, which notoriously Killed Thousands of People, leaving also more than 1.800 "MISSING" Greek Cypriots, (as ECHR found, repeatedly Condemning Ankara), and brutally provoking the Displacement of more than 190.000 Greek Cypriot Refugees, still Hindered Today, during soon 40 Years of Forced Displacement, to Return Back to their Family Homes and Ancestral Land, from which Ankara's Military notoriously Uprooted the Majority of the indigent, lawfull Population, that it's systematically "Replacing" by Settlers massively imported from the Turkish Mainland, as PACE itself has repeatedly Denounced in 2 Reports, both on the 1990ies and since 2003) ; etc. Other MEPs, (f.ex. from Hungary), had added Yesterday, also a claim that the Strange, Dealy Violence which topped the EU-brokered Agreement of February 21 in Kiev, could have resulted from direct and/or indirect  Interferences by one or more Foreign Powers (f.ex. "the US"), reportedly aiming to seize control over Ukraine in order to Destabilize and/or attack, sooner or later, also Russia.

So that the brief, but interesting reply that gave recently in Berlin, during a Press Conference held together with German Chancellor Angie Merkel, the new Chinese President Xi Jinping, to a collegue's Question on Ukraine/Crimea events, might not be so far away from a basic Truth (which still needs, notoriously, a serious, transparent and efficient Investigation, as almost all sides are more or less obliged to admit : Comp. : ....) : - After evoking what he called a very "Complex" History of Ukraine, vis a vis the Russian Civilisation up to the recent events, President Xi Jinping (whose Country had recently Abstained at a UNO General Assembly's Resolution, voted by almost Half of its Members, with Criticism vis a vis Russia), denounced a violation of both "Principles of Non Interference in the Internal Affairs" of a Country, and of its "Territorial Integrity", (apparently implying that some Foreign Interferences seem to have provoked f.ex. that Deadly Violence which Topped the February 21 Agreement for a Peaceful Solution under EU auspices, pushing Russia to protect its Crimea Fleet and the peninsula's notoriously Russian-speaking People, by operating what Moscow prefers to call "ReUnification", without any serious, nor any deadly Clash at all, even if in a hurry, and/or with this or that possible Irregularity).     

However, it's also true, as f.ex. mainstream German Newspapers like "Die Welt" a.o. observed these Days, that several EU Countries, who naturally wish to make Investments close to the Russian borders, f.ex. in the Baltic States and/or Ukraine, Moldova, etc, obiously need to have certain tangible Guarantees of Stability for the foreseabe Future, excluding any risk of this or that kind of so-called "Annexation" or "ReUnification" of all or part of Lands which were notoriously Parts of the Former USSR until some 20 or 30 Years ago. But, in addition to Poland and Romania, it's also the 3 Baltic Countries (Lithuania, Latvia and Esthonia), which have, in the meantime, become Full NATO Members, (in addition to their Historic Identity, often extending during many Centuries in the remote Past), while even Finland, a "Neutral" EU Country, remains obviously Stable and without any known threat whatever for many Decades, so that, obviously, all these neighbouring to Russia Countries (despite some notorious "Nationality" and Linguistic problems for their Russian-speaking Minorities, that CoE has repeatedly denounced, as in any other among its 47 Member Countries), don't seem to face any risk at all. Notoriously, only Ukraine had been, for Centuries, almost identified with the very Creation of the Russian Civilisation in the Past, but many Russian key Officials have repeatedly stated (even, a few years ago, to "EuroFora"), that Moscow might even accept an EU Accession for Kiew, at the only (defensive) condition that it won't become also a NATO Member, considering the fact that, recently, the Extension of the TransAtlantic Military Defense Organisation Eastwards, has obviously taken such proportions that might reasonably give to nearby Moscow some natural reasons to feel concerned for its own Security in the Future, (as a simple look at Europe's Map clearly shows). Moreover, Russia has notoriously co-guaranteed, together with other Countries, the Existence of Ukraine as an Independent State, and has repeatedly reiterated that it does not intend, nor wish at all to extend its present borders back to the former USSR era, but just to be able to leave in Peace and Security both itself and the Russian-speaking Minorities, notoriously located at Ukraine's South/Eastrern Regions, (if need be, f.ex. thanks to a Regional Autonomy or Federal system, as that advocated also by CoE's Chairman, Austrian President Heinz Fischer, earlier this week at the PACE in Strasbourg, who also advised to drop any NATO extension idea, in order not to undermine Stability in that sensitive area). As for the special case of Crimea peninsula, notoriously, it wasn't attached to the Ukrainian former Region but only after a controversial 1954 decision of Krutschev, while it also hosts, traditionaly, Moscow's Black Sea Fleet (a well known Vital Security issue for Russia itself) since more than a Century, while it has also the particularity to be Widely composed by a Russian-speaking Population since many Centuries. However, according to the arguments used by Moscow and some observers, it's obviously only after that strange Deadly Violence eruption, suddenly provoked at Kiev, immediately after an EU-sponsored Compromise Agreement was reached by former Ukranian President Yanukovich and the Leaders of the former Opposition, shortly Toppong that Deal for a Peaceful Solution which might have kept Ukraine much more Stable and United, that Russia apparently felt a Threat advancing against its own Security, so that this could have obliged her to react at least by what it called the "Peaceful ReUnification" with Crimea, (denounced as "Annexation" by that CoE's Majority Text).         

At any case, however, officially, CoE is no more a 100% Political, nor a Security/Defense Organisation at all, particularly since its 2005 PanEuropean Heads of State/Government Summit at Warsaw (Poland : Comp. "EuroFora" co-Founder's NewsReports from the spot), which notoriousy decided to explicitly Focus the PanEuropean body's Role mainly on Human Rights, Democracy and Rule of Law. All other concerns, being rather a matter belonging to EU's emerging Foreign/Security Policy, to NATO, and/or to UNO, as well as, particularly to the Wiena-based OSCE, (which, indeed, currently seems due to probably play a useful role in various possible attempts to desescalate and settle the current Ukranian crisis).           

And, from that point of view proper to the Strasbourg-based CoE, meanwhile, ECHR has notoriously asked recently, as a matter of Urgency, (given not only the developments at Kiev, but also the current moves around reported Popular Demonstrations at Eastern Ukraine, criticial vis a vis the New Central Government), both from Moscow and Kiev Authorities, to do their outmost in order to help guarantee Respect for People's Human Rights and Democratic Freedoms, according to an official ECHR Statement issued earlier in Strasbourg, making an original and interestng application of Article 39 of the PanEuropean Court's Rules of Procedure,  on the occasion of a relevant application, in an obvious attempt to Save Human Lives and prevent more Sufferings to the Population. An issue of even more Topical Importance Today, as the recent Start various Popular Demonstrations among the Russian-speaking Populations at the Eastern part of Ukraine, as well as the Risk for Kiev's New Authorities to eventualy over-react Violently, clearly shows now.


 - COE, this same Day, strongly denounces Turkey's regime as... "Incompatible" with Europea Human Rights Standards.

=> What Sanctions  ?...

 - Nevertheless, as far as CoE's above mentioned main Tasks are concerned, as well as regarding a frequently reiterated Complaint of Russian MEPs about alleged "Double Standards" against Moscow, compared to the treatment reportedly reserved to other CoE's Member Countries, by a Timely coincidence, it's also a Fact that, later Today, PACE's Legal and Human Rights Committee, Exceptionaly issued a Public Statement to Strongly Denounce the Fact that "Ecxessive use of Force by the Police" in Turkey, "and the ... Impunity of the Perpetrators" violating Human Rights, "is Incompatible with the (PanEuropean) Convention" of Human Rights, that all CoE's 47 Member States must respect.

¨PACE refers to the PanEuropean Commissioner on Human Right's latest Report for 2013, presented by Nils Muiznieks and debated this week in Strasbourg, which stresses that "Ill Treatments inflcted by the (Turkish) Police", "Excessive use of Force", "and Impunity of law enforcement Officials, was a Long-standing human rights Problem in Turkey, as attested by Numerous judgments of the (PanEuropean) Court", which has repeatedly Condemned Ankara in this regard. "Stressing that impunity was a Major Problem, Seriously Hampering Turkey’s capacity to tackle the Causes of Human rights Violations committed by law enforcement officials, the (PanEuropean) Commissioner Urged the Turkish authorities ....notably (to) remove all Obstacles to effective Investigations", in order "to (make) them promptly, adequately and effectively".

- This is added, "recently", also at "overly Restrictive Measures, (which) have Impeded Peaceful Protests, also in the Beginning of 2014, and (even) in the Context of the (recent) Election campaign" for Municipalities and Regions, PACE critically observes.

+ Moreover, "recent Restrictions of Access to Internet services by Google, Twitter and Youtube, (particuarly) during Election time, are Patent Violations of the Right to Freedom of Expression and Information, protected by Article 10 of the European Convention of Human Rights", stressed PACE's competent Committee on Turkey.

++ "In Addition", CoE's Assembly "is Worried about the Prosecution of Peaceful Opponents,under overly Broad and Unclear "AntiTerrorism" Legislation", given also the fact that "the Duration of such Criminal Proceedings, their Secrecy and Contradictions regarding Evidence used, as well as the Excessive Length of Pre-Trial Detention.. are Incompatible with European Standards", as it points out, citting as a concrete Example that of Fusun Erdogan, a Young Radio Journalist who has been thrown and kept to Jail for more than 6 Years Time, without even being Judges yet, under mere, undocumented Suspicion by the Turkish Police to be a fan of an abusively outlawed political Organisation, as her Lawyer and Sister denounced in a Press Conference, earlier this week at the CoE in Strasbourg.

+++ "Finally, ... substantial Pressure on Judges, Prosecutors and Police Officers Investigating allegations of Corruption against Leading Politicians, (some notoriously linked even with Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan's own Family Members, and/or Ministers), observed in Recent Months, may Undermine Public Trust in the Independence of the Judiciary, which is the Basis for Rule of Law", PACE warns.

>>> "Therefore", CoE "calls on Turkey to step Back from the Repressive Measures already taken or threatened, and, in particular, to Restore and protect the Independence of the Courts, and the Impartiality and objectivity of the Criminal Justice system, including in cases involving allegations of Wrongdoings against persons in positions of Power", 'f.ex. by implementing the Reforms prescribed by CoE's PanEuropean "Commission for Democracy through Law", (known as "Venice Commission”).

=> Otherwise, CoE's main role being to protect Human Rights, Democracy and Rule of Law, the obvious Question legitimately raised Today is : - "What Sanctions will PACE impose, after all these Years (of various serious Violations) to Turkey (as it has just done for Russia) ?.....

Or will Ankara, perhaps, still profit from a scandalously Total Impunity, and only seek to exploit the problems provoked in Ukraine between EU and Russia, in an attempt to push again its Old Plans  - notoriously  too Long, too Expensive, and too Unsafe (i.e. facing Earthquakes, Conflicts, Financial and even Political Blackmail Risks) - for zig-zaging Pipelines through the Turkish territories (too close to Kurdish populations' regions) ?


+ Kiev's Deadly "SNIPERS" Mystery deepens.. 



 Such a move could also explain the real reason for which, paradoxically, all Turkish MEPs voted Today for an Amendment tabled by Brittish MEPs (No 15) to accuse Russia even of "Grave" (and not just simple) Violations of International Law, while the Turkish Army; notoriously, still persists to do itself so , during Decades, both against Cyprus, with an on-going Foreign Military Invasion-Occupation of the Northern part of that EU Member Country, and against Greece, with Military Threats at the Aegean Sea, as well as against Iraq, with Deadly Turkish Military Interventions inside its territory, from times to times, and now, reportedly, even inside Syria, where Turkey has just been accused by MEPs at the CoE this week in Strasbourg to Host in its own territory and "infiltrate" Al Quaida Terrorists destroying and Killing Armenians villing in certain Syrian Villages (fex. Kesab, etc) as rescapees from the 1915-1922 Armenian Genocide,  that all Turkish lobbies still persist to Deny, etc.. ..

But it remains still to find out why ALL numerous Turkish MEPs also Voted Yesterday against an Amendment  (No 2) to another Report dedicated to the recent developments inside Ukraine, which had simply tried to reestablish the Truh on the notorious Fact that those Mysterious Deadly "Snipers", who suddenly started to Kill People from Both Siders at Kiev's Maidan square,  (just after the February 21 Agreeement, under the auspices of 3 EU Foreign Ministers of France, Germany and Poland, between former President Yakaukovich and the f. Opposition's Leaders, which had found a Compromise for a Peaceful Solution in a United Ukraine, provoking a Bloody Revolt which practicaly topped that Deal and now obviously Threatens to Divide the Country and even all Europe), had murdered also Ukranian "Policemen and others".

Tabled by mainstream Dutch MEP Tiny Cox, President of PACE's EuroLeft Group, together with 4 other MEPs from Germany, Denmark, Moldova, etc., that Amendment (No 2) succeeded to attract also the Support of more than 50 MEPs, (added also to 9 Abstentions), and came after the recent revelation of Estonian Foreign Ministers' findings, during a visit at Kiev, about Euro-Maidan People's concerns vis a vis the Fact that those Deadly "Snipers" had killed both Protestors and Policemen,  by shots fired both in front and .. behind the Demonstration, as a famous and confirmed leakage of a Phone Call to EU's High Representative for Externa Action Cathy Ashton notoriously revealed, (See : http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/calltoinvestigatekievnipersdropedateuparliament.html ).

Something which obviously underlines even more the Crucial Importance that has in fact the "transparent" and "objective"  "Investigation" that CoE has just asked to do on this thorny affair of "Snipers", who appeared just after various individuals "Join(ed) the crowd at Maidan" coming from "OUTSIDE Kyiv", as the Report that PACE adopted Yesterday points out (§ 15), particularly when, Today, even the mainstream German RadioTV Media "ARD" has just published an Original Press Correspondence from Ukraine, with 3 Key Interviews at Kiev (including a High ranking Official involved in the Investigations, as well as a "Radio Track" from the events, etc) : http://www.tagesschau.de/ausland/maidan-schuesse102.html ), which strongly contests the Official Version about the supposed Identity of those Deadly Snipers, and even adds much more, new and factual elements of proof (including Eyewitnesses, etc), confirming the Astonishing Fact that those Killers came also from Behind the Protestors, from Inside an Area controlled by them, and targetted, indeed, both Policemen and Demonstrators, i.e. obviously showeing that the Truth on what really happened in Ukraine still remains to be found, as the most crucial Question (WHO were all those Deadly Snipers who undermined the Peaceful EU-sponsored Agreement ?) remains Unanswered.-


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Recent developments proved that Europe can suceed to overcome challenges by aiming at great objectives, and this is needed also in 2009, said EU chairman, French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

    - "It's in the name of Great Ideas, Projects, Ambition and Ideals, that EU can overcome" challenges, stressed Sarkozy at EU Parliament in Strasbourg, in conclusion of a dense 7 months EU Chairmanship. "It's even easier for Europe to have Great projects, able to overcome national egoism, instead of limiting itself only to small projects" (unable to do alike), he observed.     

- "Europe must remain Ambitious and understand that the World needs her to take Decisions". "The World needs a Strong Europe", which "thinks on its own, has convictions, its own responses, its imagination" : "A Europe which does not limit itself into following" others, (as it did in the Past, when it followed USA, f.ex. on Bosnia). On the contrary, "Europe should undertake its own responsibilities", he said, after a series of succes in stopping the War between Russia and Georgia, and organizing the 1st EuroZone's Summit in Paris, which incited the Washington DC G-20 Summit to extend similar decisions World-wide.  

    - "When you sweep it all under the carpet, prepare yourself for hard tomorrows", he warned. "What hinders decisions is the lack of Courage and Will, the fading away of Ideals", he stressed before EU Parliament's 2008 debate on Human Rights and Sakharov prize on Freedom of thought attributed by MEPs to Chinese cyber-dissident Hu Jia, followed by an EU - Turkey meeting on Friday.

    - "I don't abandon my convictions" and "I will take initiatives" on EU level also in 2009, Sarkozy announced later. "France will not stop having convictions and taking initiatives" on Europe. + "It's an Error to wish to pass over the Heads of those who are elected in their Countries" : "It's an integrism I always fought against"', he warned.
French EU Presidency faced 4 unexpected Crisis :

- An institutional crisis, with the Irish "No" to EU Lisbon Treaty, just before it started. A geopolitical crisis, wth the threat of War between Russia and Georgia risking to throw Europe back to Cold-war divisions, on August. A World-wide Financial and Economic crisis, arriving at a bad moment before crucial 2009 EU elections. And even a Strasbourg's mini-crisis, with EU Parliament's roof curiously falling down, from unknown reasons, in a brand new building on August, provoking an unprecedented transfert of the 2 September Plenary Sessions...

But it wasn't enough to stop Sarkozy ! On the contrary, it stimulated him...

- "The better way to deal with the recent problems of EU institutions (as the "3 NO" by France, the Netherlands and Ireland) is to take them as a "Test" in order to find solutions closer to Citizens' concerns", said later in Strasbourg Sarkozy's new choice as Ministe for EU affairs, Bruno Le Maire.

- On the Institutional front, Sarkozy gave Time to the Irish to think about it, and stroke on December a deal including a New Referendum after the June 2009 EU Elections, in exchange of a promise to keep the rule of "one EU Commissioner for each EU Member Country", and some opt-outs on Defence and Fiscal EU policies, Abortion, etc. If the Irish get a "Yes" Majority, then the institutional package could be completed in 2010 or 2011 on the occasion of Croatia's probable EU accession.

He was accused in Strasbourg to upgrade EU Council and downgrade EU Commision, but he replied that "strong Political initiatives by EU Council reinforce also the more technical role of EU Commission, under the political-technical leadership of its President", all 3 "working together with EU Parliament".

- But, meanwhile, Sarkozy energetically spearheaded an Historic 1st Summit of EuroZone's 15 Heads of State and Government at EU's core, exceptionally enlarged to a partial participation of British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, on October 12 in Paris' Elysee palace, which started to tackle succesfully the growing world Financial crisis.

    It also paved the way for its endorsement by a subsequent Brussels' 27 EU Member States' gathering, before it all come to Washington's G-20 Summit. And "Europe was united, it asked for the 1st G-20 Summit, and it will also organise the next G-20 Summit on April in London", he observed.   

 But a Conference with EU, Russia, African and other Developing Countries, hosted in Strasbourg shortly after Washington G-20 Summit by the French EU Presidency, took a Resolution asking to enlarge participation to Global Economic Governance. Many found, indeed, illogic and unacceptable that f.ex. states as Turkey were given a seat at G-20 level, while all African Countries, and even the African Union itself, representing the greatest Continent on Earth, were excluded...

    Meanwhile, even USA''s "Paulson No 3" Plan, was, in fact, inspired by Europe's No 1 Plan", Sarkozy observed, largelly applauded by MEPs.

    And "Europe showed Solidarity" by mobilizing some 22 Billion credit for Hungary, 1,7 billion for Ukraine, as we do nowadays for Baltic States, etc., he added.

    The move on Economy was extended on December by an EU stimulus' plan totalling some 200 billion Euros, including 5 Billions released by EU Commission for big Projects, as well as various parallel National plans for Economic revival, (fex. 26 billions in France alone). They might appear limited, compared to USA President-elect Obama's reported plan to boost the American economy with 800 billion $, but at least succeded to overcome Europe's divisions for the first time on Economic governance, opening new horizons.

- The French President stressed even harder the unique role of an active EU Council's chairmanship, when he moved swiftly and efficiently, at the beginning of August, to succesfully stop War between Russia and Georgia, at the last minute, which threatened to bring Europe back to Cold War division.

"We (EU) also wanted to avoid a situation like in Bosnia, in the Past, when EU was absent, so that our American friends took their responsibilitues, and EU only followed", despite the fact that the conflict took place in Europe. Now, it was the EU who took its responsibilities".

A roadmap towards a new PanEuropean Security policy, before which all unilateral moves to place new Missiles (from USA or Russia) would be freezed, was proposed by Sarkozy after a meeting with Russian president Medvedev, at the eve of Washington DC's G-20 Summit.

Ukraine's "European" character was stressed at a Sarkozy - Jushenko Summit, September in Paris, while EU adopted on December an "Eastern policy", in which, "I'm convinced that our (EU's) future is to find with our Neighbours the conditions for Economic Development. Peace and Security, by explaining them that.. they must respect (Human Rights') Values, and adopt behaviors different from the Past", explained Sarkozy in Strasbourg.

Meanwhile, the "Union for the Mediterranean" was created, since July's Summit if 45 Heads of State and Government in Paris, as "an organisation for a permanent Dialogue, that we need", mainly in order to tackle the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, by bringing together, for the 1st time, Israelis and Arabs, where "Europe must be present, in order to avoid a frontal clash".

- "If Europe doesn't take its part for Peace in the Middle-East, nobody else will do that in our place", Sarkozy stressed.
    Meanwhile, other EU Agreements were brokered during the French EU Presidency on Immigration, (fex. common Asylum rules, etc), and Climat- Energy :

    - On Climat-Energy, the 2007 German EU Presidency had fixed a triple 20% aim for 2020 (20% renewable Energies, 20% reduction of CO2 emmission, 20% energy efficience/economies), and the 2008 French EU Presidecny realized that, making the necessary compromises in order to modernize EU's industry, but without throwing some former Central-Eastern European Countries into abrupt Economic break down risking "social explosion".

    - Defence-Security EU policy was mainly postponed for April 2009, since both German chancellor Merkel and French president Sarkozy want to strike a deal with the new American president Obama in Strasbourg's NATO Summit.

    However, with all these 4 unexpected Crisis diverting attention to other urgencies, People wil wonder now, what happened to the famous deal proposed by freshly-elected French President Sarkozy on Turkey's controversial EU bid, back on August 2007, to continue EU - Turkey negotiations, but on the double condition that core chapters, intrinsequally linked with EU Membership, will be excluded, and that a collective Reflexion and Debate on Europe's future would start before the end of 2008.

    It was meant to reply to the crucial question : What kind of Europe do we want in 10 or 20 Years from now : A large Market, or a Political Europe, with a popular identity ? In Sarkozy's thinking, presented in his 2 landmark speeches on Europe in Strasbourg, shortly before and after the 2007 Elections, (on February and July 2007), Turkey's controversial EU bid would be incompatible with the second choice.

    It's true that EU Commision's Chairman, Jose Barroso, (who had notoriously declared, as former Portuguese Prime Minister, that he found "nonsense" the idea that Europe might become equal to the US), had repeatedly tried to avoid that Sarkozy's criticism on Turkey might start winning a larger audience in Europe, preferring a discrete "wismens' committee" work. And that most of the personalities later chosen in order to participate in a Committee on Europe's Future, are too much linked with Socialist parties and/or American policies, to be really critical of USA's notorious wish to impose Turkey to the EU, as Sarkozy had noted himself since March 2007..

     - "It's on EU Council's presidency to take political initiatives. EU Commission has other competences", stressed Sarkozy. The "European Ideal" is to "build Europe with the States, not against them". "Ask Europeans to chose between their countries and Europe won't work. You don't choose between your two parents : We must add them together".

    "France and Germany have an Historic Duty to work together, precisely because of what happened to the Past. We have to work hand by hand. We cannot be separated.It goes beyond me and Mrs Merkel today, Mr Schroeder and Mr. Chirac yesterday. It's not a choice, it's a duty to Europe and to the World".  "We need Germany, as Germany needs Europe". Compromise is inevitable, here as everywhere, and each one made some steps towards eachother's positions.

    But "it's true that Mrs Merkel didn't chose her Socialist partners, while I chose mine", Sarkozy said, in an indirect hint that the Socialist Minister of Finance in Germany might be a cause of minor past disagreements in Economy, which were overcome in recent negotiations.

    "We (France and Germany) have particular duties in Europe", but "in a Europe of 27 Member States, it's not enough for France and Germany to agree between them.

    "I always thought that Great Britain has a special role to play in Europe. ... Now, everybody "saw what it cost payed the UK for having been too exclusively open towards the US (and) Financial services. Europe needs the UK, but also the UK needs Europe" :- "We were able to face the hardest moment of the Financial crisis because the UK clearly chose Europe", stressed Sarkozy, reminding Gordon Brown's exceptional participation to the Historic 1st Heads of State/Government Summit of EuroZone, October 12 in Paris (See EuroFora's Reportage from Elysee Palace then).

     - "Some look at Europe with old glasses aged 30 years ago. While we must look at her in relation to what it will be in 30 years" in the Future, Sarkozy concluded.


2009 EU Elections were won by Parties against Technocracy and Turkey's controversial EU bid, while the 1999-2004 Majority Abstention trend decelerated. What should be done in 2009-2014 ?


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