Oct 24, 2003

European Parliament debates over EU-Russia Summit

MEP Olivier Dupuis speech on Chechenya situation
Strasbourg, sitting of Wednesday 22 October 2003

Olivier Dupuis (NI-Radical). Mr President of the Council, Mr Commissioner, I am sorry, but the policy that you embody is no longer only cowardly and irresponsible, it is also criminal, because what you are doing, Mr President of the Council, is to criminalise a whole people.

You have presented this people as a terrorist people; the Foreign Ministers of the five biggest countries of the European Union, who met in Paris last week, promised to exchange information on the training camps for international terrorists in Chechnya. Yet you have never given us, or the public, the slightest bit of proof of this.

You mentioned Chechen terrorists present in Afghanistan: but no Chechen has ever been found in Afghanistan. You told us the same thing about Iraq, but you have never found a single Chechen, dead or alive, in Iraq.

This operation is identical to the one carried out in the 1930s, when a whole people was presented as a people of plutocrats; well now, day after day, you are presenting the Chechen people to the European public and to the international public as a people of terrorists. You are doing so because it is in your interest to do so; it is in your interest because of the policy you are pursuing with British Petroleum, which is of great interest to Mr Blair, with Shell, which is of great interest to our colleague Mr Oostlander, with Agip, which is of great interest to President Prodi and President Berlusconi, with Total, which is of great interest to President Chirac, and obviously with other companies. This is what you are doing, to defend what is a policy of interest, and certainly not a real policy.