Russia needs a dialogue with the European Union
On 10 May German Chancellor Angela Merkel comes to Moscow to pay tribute to all the Soviet soldiers who fought in World War II and to honor the memory of all the killed Soviet citizens.
At the same time, an important dialogue should take place: how to stop sliding of the present Russia and the West towards further confrontation and to find starting points in the present crisis for the future development of a united Europe. We as a Russian party believe these negotiations be important, and we think that the political and economic landscape of the Europe that will be in ten or fifteen years, must be laid today.
We as a Russian party think that great integrational convergence associated with the need to overcome the problems and drawbacks of all the parties is needed.
The European Union should pay attention to the substantial number of moral, economic and administrative problems. The moral and political negligence in adopting very long-term and sometimes symbolically significant decisions, following the ideas of formal positive law where understanding of the continuity and the perspective are needed, can lead the EU to the loss of an important standing, large internal political and economic imbalances, and will have a negative impact on the world’s politics and economy.
Russia, in its turn, has to overcome and reject the model of rigid authoritarianism generating policies towards isolation, unpredictability of both domestic and foreign policies. The rule of law, an independent judiciary (which could not be used as a tool for selective action), real civil representation and feedback between citizens and authorities, intergovernmental and international non-governmental structures, removal of political, bureaucratic and corruption barriers in the economy, access to quality health care and high-level education and objective information – that is what citizens need now and definitely will need it in fifteen and fifty years. Starting work over the solution of this problem right now is the issue of responsibility, courage and vision of the decision-makers, those who can influence these developments.
In addition to very important general political issues there are many very specific topics directly affecting health and destinies of people. An example of such a destiny is that of Evgeny Vitishko (born in 1973), environmental activist and member of the YABLOKO party, who in May 2012 was sentenced by the Tuapse City Court (the Krasnodar Territory) to three years of imprisonment on absolutely ambiguous charges. In December 2013, suspended sentence for Vitishko was replaced by imprisonment in a penal colony, which he is currently serving his sentence in the CP-2 of the Kirsanovsky district, the Tambov region.
Evgeny Vitishko has been drawing attention to the facts of violation of the nature protection principles that took place in Russia. His actions were conditioned by his concern for the preservation of Russia’s natural environment as a habitat for future generations of Russians. Vitishko sees taking care of the country as the task of his life, he can not imagine his life without the Russian Federation either in the present or in the future.
The fact that Evgeny Vitishko is in prison represents a great and symbolic injustice that must be repaired as soon as possible. He must be released, Russia and international organisations should mark with awards and strongly encourage his socially useful activities.
If a local court punishes the activist and pays no attention to the arbitrary rule of a top official governing the territory where the court is located, this will bring great harm to the entire political system. Every event of this kind is a sad signal demonstrating in what direction the system has been evolving.
European politicians, international human rights and environmental organisations have been repeatedly asking the Russian authorities to release Vitishko, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights also expressed his concern. The appeals stressed that the persecution was connected with environmental activities of Evgeny Vitishko.
In our opinion, it would be right and proper that this and similar cases could become the subject of discussions between the European and the Russian leaders.