In his speech on Monday to the EU summit, European Parliament President Hans-Gert Pöttering stressed the necessity for the EU to demonstrate to Russia that it is united, and determined not to accept unilateral changes to the map of Europe brought about by means of violence.
Other key points of his message were that:
- The escalation of the crisis in Georgia constitutes a threat to security on the European continent which is without parallel since the collapse of the Soviet Union.
- The territorial integrity of Georgia cannot be called into question by means of unilateral decisions taken in Moscow.
- The invoking by Moscow of peoples' right to self-determination, a right which Russia has been denying the Chechens, will certainly give other former Soviet Republics, such as Ukraine and Moldova, which have sizeable Russian minorities, cause for concern.
- We say to the European Union citizens in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia: "You are no longer alone! A threat to your country would constitute a threat to the European Union as a whole".
- The European Union must be prepared to support the United Nations and the OSCE on the ground.
- The European Union should support this by all appropriate means in order to help build stability and confidence. The appointment of an EU High Representative for Georgia should be considered.
- It is essential to carry out an independent international inquiry, which should also clarify the issue of war crimes.
- Should one European Union Member State be faced with a threat to cut off its energy supplies, all the other Union Member States would have a duty to support it.
The full text of President Pöttering's speech can be found via the links below.