State of EU-Russia relations
Mr President, the awful reality seems to be that Russia is getting away with her aggression – perhaps not surprisingly, given the weaknesses in the EU approach.
Firstly, the effectiveness of EU sanctions is limited by the fact that they do not restrict the sale of Russian gas to Europe. To confront Russian aggression effectively, certain European countries must wean themselves off reliance on Russia for energy – and by the way, we should open the Energy Chapter with Turkey.
Secondly, we must recognise that it is the Transatlantic Alliance, embodied in NATO, that is the essential guarantor of European security and which is the defence organisation that Moscow takes seriously. NATO needs to be revitalised. EU meddling in defence risks undermining these efforts and dividing the Transatlantic Alliance. Thirdly, more must be done to discourage countries that are EU Member States from doing deals with Russia, such as offering naval port facilities, which undermine Western security and solidarity.
9 June 15