Dr Charles Tannock

Member of the European Parliament for London

EU-Russia summit

Delivered in Plenary - 13th December 2011

Mr President

The conduct of the recent parliamentary elections in Russia has clearly shown that there is deterioration in Russian democracy. Reports are widespread of electoral fraud, harassment and arbitrary detention of peaceful demonstrators by the authorities and with impunity for the election fraudsters, which all flies in the face of Prime Minister Putinís assurances that the elections were free and fair.

It is somewhat unbelievable that no new political parties, including the main opposition party, the Peopleís Freedom Party or PARNAS, were allowed to register for participating in these elections.

Russia must be reminded that, as a member of the OSCE and the Council of Europe, it is legally obliged to safeguard the integrity of the electoral process. Russia must also put an end to widespread corruption and massive self-enrichment at the highest levels of the state and government, as is illustrated by the tragic case of Sergei Magnitsky, who chose to expose the most egregious tax fraud and was, as a result, tortured to death in prison.