The President of the Riigikogu Eiki Nestor participated at the Conference of Speakers of European Union Parliaments. He called the EU Member States to increase their efforts in developing cooperation with Eastern Partnership countries, particularly Moldova, Georgia and Ukraine who have made great progress in fulfilling the required criteria.
“More ambitious Eastern Partnership countries need an accession perspective. It would be an expression of solidarity to the citizens of those countries who share our values, and it would increase their motivation to continue the necessary reforms,” the President of the Riigikogu emphasised in his speech.
The Conference, which took place in Vilnius, Lithuania, on 6–8 April, discussed the role of the parliaments in overcoming the negative effects of the economic and financial crisis; the development of subsidiarity issues in the EU; the cooperation of parliaments in legal and migration issues; and relations with Eastern Partnership countries.
Eiki Nestor condemned Russia’s aggression and continuous pressure in Ukraine, as well as all the activities that seriously harm the security situation of the world.
“We must also not accept the lies that justify revanchism and aggression under the pretext of protecting the Russian language or the rights of the so-called compatriots. There is no point in invoking a fifth column where it does not exist. Indeed, the rights of national minorities are the best guaranteed in democratic countries. The national minorities residing in the European Union countries, including those who speak Russian as their mother tongue, are our compatriots, not Kremlin’s,” Nestor stressed.
“1984 by George Orwell is not only a wonderful book that awakens memories in my generation and myself, but it depicts 40 years of my life. We do not and can not accept that the situation depicted in this book could again become a reality in 2014, on a large part of the European territory,” said the President of the Riigikogu in conclusion.
Nestor also had separate meetings with the President of the Seimas of Lithuania Loreta Graužiniene, Speaker of the Croatian Parliament Josip Leko and President of the Chamber of Deputies of Romania Valeriu Ștefan Zgonea. The Presidents discussed bilateral relations, issues of regional cooperation and European security situation.
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