European Parliament denounces Khodorkovsky’s imprisonment in key resolution on EU-Russia relationship

December 13, 2012

Members of the European Parliament meeting in Strasbourg have adopted a resolution sharply critical of human rights violations and the deterioration of the rule of law in Russia, insisting that the Russian authorities should investigate the jailing of Mikhail Khodorkovsky and other victims of human rights abuses as a condition of deepening EU-Russia relations.

The Parliament’s resolution is based on a recommendation authored by Austrian MEP Hannes Swoboda, which sets out MEPs’ priorities for the Council of Ministers (governments of EU member states) and the European Commission in upcoming negotiations on a new cooperation agreement with Russia.

The resolution stressed the need for an end to “impunity” and “politically motivated persecutions” in Russia. Mikhail Khodorkovsky’s imprisonment was featured as an example of a violation of human rights.

The resolution also called for the immediate release of members of the Pussy Riot band.

The Parliament called on the Council, the Commission and the Eurpean External Action Service to “stress the need for the Russian authorities to put an end to impunity in the country, as well as to politically motivated persecutions, arrests and detentions, and emphasise the need to cease using repressive measures against the political opposition; ensure that full light is shed on the many violations of human rights that have occurred, including the imprisonment of Mikhail Khodorkovsky and the deaths of Sergei Magnitsky, Alexander Litvinenko, Anna Politkovskaya, Natalya Estemirova and others, which have yet to be investigated in an impartial and independent fashion; support the position of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe regarding the politically motivated sentence against members of the Pussy Riot group, and call for their immediate release”.

In yesterday’s debate, London MEP Charles Tannock mentioned Khodorkovsky in the context of impunity and corruption in Russia, he said:

I profoundly regret the deterioration in recent years in Russia on human rights questions, including a climate of increasing impunity and corruption, as we saw over the Magnitsky, Litvinyenko and Khodorkovsky cases, as well as the excessive prison sentence passed down to the members of Pussy Riot and recent proposals for anti-LGBT laws.”


Press releases for the debate from the European parliament and the EPP, its largest political grouping. can be found here and here.