MEPs slam EU boss over congratulations for Putin: report
PR dla Zagranicy
Twelve MEPs have reportedly written to European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker, saying he failed to mention the annexation of Crimea while congratulating Vladimir Putin on winning the presidential elections in Russia.
European Commission President Jean Claude Juncker. Photo: EPA/JULIEN WARNAND
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty journalist Rikard Jozwiak posted a letter on Twitter signed with the names of European Parliament deputies including Polish conservative Anna Fotyga.
The letter, as posted by Jozwiak, said: “We are very disappointed that the opportunity was missed to remind... the Russian leader of [the] illegal occupation and annexation of Crimea, a regrettable and unacceptable act of violation of international law.”
It added: “Full respect of Ukraine's territorial integrity and sovereignty is exactly what the EU expects from Russia, as its contribution to restoration of both pan-European security and positive relations with the EU.”
Juncker wished Putin "every success" after the Russia president’s re-appointment for a fourth term in office.
His congratulations to the Russian president drew criticism in conservative media.
Britain’s express.co.uk news website said Juncker “faced a furious backlash” over his congratulations to Putin.
The website reported that Juncker’s “gushing missive” had failed to mention the poisoning of a Russian ex-spy in Britain.
Last Friday, Polish Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz said Warsaw was “certain” that Moscow was involved in a suspected nerve agent attack on former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury, southern England, on March 4.
Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine in March 2014 after a referendum that the Ukrainian authorities and the West said was illegal. Earlier, Russian soldiers in unmarked uniforms seized strategic facilities on the peninsula from the Ukrainian army and local authorities.
Meanwhile, Russia’s long-serving leader Vladimir Putin extended his presidency by another six years after winning a landslide election victory on Sunday, the fourth anniversary of the annexation of Crimea.