28.10. 2010 Estonian MEP warns that Russia's clout is increasing

European People's Party faction representative Tunne Kelam has gone on record as saying that Russia's power to sow and exploit divisions between EU states and in transatlantic relations has never been greater.

The EU Parliament member from the center-right party said on October 27 that insufficient coordination of transatlantic cooperation was to blame, and also cited what he said were recent initiatives by EU members to court Russia, such as a meeting of French, German and Russian leaders in Deauville.

"Any sort of purposeful partnership can be based only on trust and reciprocity," said Kelam. 

 
Kelam asked EU High Representatve for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton whether Russia should not first fulfill its obligations to the EU such as the proper implementation of the conditions of the ceasefire in Georgia before the EU starts exploring new forms of partnership. 
 
Kelam also said that many members of European Parliament were "deeply concerned" about the Khodorkovsky trial, which he called a "grotesque" miscarriage of justice.
 
Ashton emphasized the importance of transatlantic cooperation and the need for Russia to comply with its obligations and said her priority was that human rights-related issues not be sidetracked.

Source: Estonian Public Broadcasting News