- Title: BELGIUM: Russia and the European Union jointly condemn violence in Libya
- Date: 25th February 2011
- Summary: BRUSSELS, BELGIUM (FEBRUARY 24, 2011) (REUTERS) EXTERIOR OF EUROPEAN COMMISSION POLICEMEN PATROLLING OUTSIDE EUROPEAN COMMISSION
- Embargoed: 12th March 2011 12:00
- Location: Belgium, Belgium
- Country: Belgium
- Topics: International Relations
- Reuters ID: LVA21RQ5DZX7D626LLHEOWD7K446
- Story Text: Russia and the European Union jointly condemn the violent suppression of protests in Libya and say they stand ready to provide economic and other assistance to the Arab world.
Russia and the European Union issued a joint statement on Thursday (February 24) to condemn the use of military force in Libya.
''We condemn and consider unacceptable the use of military force to break up peaceful demonstrations as well as any other manifestations of violence. In particular we condemn the violence and use of force against civilians in Libya,'' European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said.
Russia and the EU stood ready to support the region, the statement read.
"Supporting the peoples of Arab countries in their aspirations for a more just and prosperous life, we stand ready to provide economic and other assistance to interested countries at their request," Barroso said.
A wave of protest engulfed Arab countries since a young unemployed Tunisian man set himself on fire in December.
Russian Prime Minister said he feared the unrest could continue to spread, including to North Caucasus where rebels are fighting for a Muslim state separate from Russia.
"We are concerned firstly about the numbers of victims killed during the events in North africa and we are also concerned that despite the efforts to calm things down radical groups could come to power in North Africa. While it's unlikely it is still of concerns to us. If it takes place it could affect other regions in the world including of course the North Caucasus,'' Putin said.
Putin also said a hike in oil prices endanger the recovery of world's economies.
''There are numerous risks and threats in connection with the price for fuel and energy at the level 118 US dollars per barrel, this represents a serious threat to the world prosperity,'' Putin said.
Little progress was made on human rights or energy during talks between Russia and the EU. Barroso said Russia needed to enforce the rule of law.
'Strengthening the rule of law and fundamental freedoms we believe is a share commitment and we expect Russia to respect its international commitments in the field of human rights,'' he said.
Russia energy minister Sergei Shmatko and European energy commission Guenther Oettinger signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) concerning an enlarged Early Warning Mechanism. Russia should alert the EU as soon as it is getting warning signs of a crisis and the EU would need to alert Russia in case it need an increase in its gas delivery, the EU commission said.
Putin however was unhappy about EU's rules on the ownership of pipeline infrastructure, known as the third energy package. He told reporters after his meeting with Barroso that the EU rules were a confiscation of assets.
The rules impose limits on the ownership of EU pipeline infrastructure by gas suppliers and call for the "unbundling" of over-concentrated ownership. Under the rules, Russia could be forced to sell off some of its pipeline network.
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