In Luxembourg, EU Foreign Ministers draw attention to Russian civil society
At the initiative of Lithuania, a meeting of the European Union’s Foreign Ministers with the well-known Russian civil society activist, the Vice-Chairman of Open Russia Vladimir Kara-Murza was held in Luxembourg on 16 October.
“We take a tough stance on how the official Russian authorities have acted recently, but we also fully understand that the Kremlin and the wider Russian society are not one and the same,” said Lithuania’s Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius.
The Foreign Minister once again voiced Lithuania’s strong support for the Russian civil society, which had lately been facing increasing constraints and other disturbances to its activities.
According to Minister Linkevičius, this meeting is clear proof of the fact that Europe is not indifferent to the processes that are currently taking place throughout Russia. “We are interested in a democratic, peaceful, and cooperative Russia. But at the same time we are well aware that these goals cannot be achieved without an active and vibrant civil society in Russia,” said Minister Linkevičius.
“One of the main principles of the EU that apply to the agreed development of ties between the EU and Russia speaks precisely of our greater focus on contacts with the people of Russia, and of stronger support for Russian civil society. Today’s meeting with Kara-Murza is orgnaised in a coherent effort to implement this principle,” said the head of Lithuania’s diplomacy.
The participants of the meeting exchanged opinions on Russia’s domestic political processes, its foreign policy, and emphasized the need to closely monitor, as well as respond to every attempt to suppress Russian civil society activists and intellectuals, and to discuss other concrete ways the EU could help Russian civil society.