Such a proposal YABLOKO’s leader Sergei Mitrokhin put forward
at the European Forum Alpbach. The European Forum Alpbach
is a kind of analogue of the World Economic Forum in Davos,
however, Alpbach focuses on the problems of European integration.
According to Sergei Mitrokhin, the first step in the way
of Russia’s integration should be raising of the role of the
Council of Europe and new principles of PACE formation. “The
Council of Europe should become an instrument for involving
Russia into the system of European values, European standards
in politics, economy, protection of human rights and environment,”
Sergei Mitrokhin said. YABLOKO’s leader proposed to European
politicians to make CE more influential via direct elections
to PACE with mandatory control over elections in the member
states by the Council of Europe. Mitrokhin is also certain
that this would be also important for Russia and its movement
along democratic way of development.
Debating with RF Ambassador in the EU Vladimir Chizov YABLOKO’s
leader raised an issue of development of a common EU strategy
towards Russia. According to Sergei Mitrokhin, “this should
be a consistent EU strategy towards Russia based on integration
rather than confrontation.”
Such strategy is vitally important both for the EU and Russia
so that to successfully compete with the new centres of economic
growth which will emerge in the world by the middle of the
21st century, namely the North America and South-East Asia.
Europe will not be able to efficiently compete on the world
markets without Russia’s geopolitical and economic potential.
For Russia integration with Europe means not only survival,
but choosing of the way of the country’s development, Mitrokhin
Other steps towards integration should, according to Mitrokhin,
include elimination of visa barriers between Russia and the
EU and provision of the freedom of movement. Mitrokhin noted
that visa-free regime is necessary not only facilitation of
trips for the citizens, but a broader communication between
our citizens, which will result in integration of European
democratic values by the Russian society.
YABLOKO’s leader also expressed his certainty that cooperation
in the military policy in the field of creation of a joint
Russia-US-NATO AMB system is absolutely necessary. According
to Mitorkhin, such ABM system could become one of the key
elements in solution of international and global security
problems. In addition, Russia’s participation in such a global
project in the field of security provision will ensure involvement
of Russia’s political and military elite into cooperation,
rather than confrontation with the West. On the opposite,
“unilateral stationing of the ABM system in Europe will, in
addition to all other things, add to anti-Western hysteria
in the Russian society and political elite, and it is very
difficult to speak about any cooperation or moreover integration
in such a situation,” Sergei Mitorkhin concluded.
The European Forum gathering the leading figures in politics,
science, culture and industry has been annually held in the
Austrian Alpbach (the Tirolien) since 19945. Last year Alpbch
hosted over 4,000 participants from 64 countries of the globe.
– EU Relations