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Welcome from the Chair

As Chair of the European Parliament Delegation to the EU-Russia Parliamentary Cooperation Committee (D-RU), I would like to warmly welcome you to our website.

The European Union and the Russian Federation share the same continent, Europe. Russia is the EU's largest neighbour and, like the EU, an important actor at the global scale. It is therefore in our mutual interest to maintain beneficial relations between us, among others on foreign policy, security, economy, energy, environment, research and education, culture and sciences.

However, profound divergences between the EU and Russia regarding our common neighbourhood have seriously affected EU-Russia relations in the last years. Since March 2014, in response to the Russian illegal annexation of Crimea and its support to the Eastern Ukraine rebels, the EU has imposed restrictive measures against Russia, and Russia has imposed counter-sanctions against the EU. The EU Global Security Strategy defines relations with Russia as a 'key strategic challenge'. The EU also seeks a selective engagement with Russia where our interests overlap, like in the areas of counterterrorism or people-to-people contacts.

The European Parliament has suspended inter-parliamentary relations with the Russian Federal Assembly and its last resolutions on EU-Russia relations have expressed deep concern about Russia's lack of respect for international law and human rights protection. Furthermore, the European Parliament asks the EU Member States and its associated neighbours to strengthen their resilience concerning disinformation activities, interference in electoral processes and other hybrid destabilization activities.

In this difficult context, however, the Delegation meets regularly to analyse and debate on Russian events and policies and, particularly, on themes of interest to the EU-Russia relations. The Delegation tries to identify possible solutions to the current disputes and gets prepared for the moment in which positive developments may normalize our bilateral relations. The Delegation also maintains discussions and exchanges with representatives of Russian civil society, non-governmental organisations, universities and media.

I thank you for your interest in visiting the Delegation's website and I hope you will actively use it with a spirit open to dialogue between EU and Russian citizens.


Ryszard Czarnecki

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