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Head of PACE mission points to positive events in Russia after State Duma elections

January 22, 2012, 14:17 UTC+3

Kox said that all meetings with representatives of Russian authorities were held in the atmosphere of accord

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MOSCOW, January 22 (Itar-Tass) — Head of the post-election PACE mission Tiny Kox points to positive processes in Russia after the State Duma elections on December 4, 2011, but is drafting a critical report for the January session of the Parliamentary Assembly.

Kox said by the results of a meeting with members of the Russian delegation at the PACE that all protests that took place after the elections were heard by authorities. This was a definite signal for all those, with whom the delegation spoke.

According to the mission head, it was impossible to speak before the elections in Russia on the need for changes in the election system. Now, he continued, all parties – from United Russia to the Russian Communist Party – speak of readiness to carry out these changes.

Kox said that all meetings with representatives of Russian authorities were held in the atmosphere of accord. In the meantime, replying to a question on appraisal of the mission, its head asked not to expect special compliments.

Kox noted that a report which would be submitted to the winter session in Strasbourg would reflect questions on violations at the elections, on all that is not in conformity with high standards of the Council of Europe.

At the same time, Moscow hopes that Kox’ report will preserve to a great extent the positive tone of the December report by the election mission (late in 2011, Kox pointed to improving situation in Russia with the access of opposition parties to the mass media and TV debates).

The head of the Russian delegation at the PACE session (starting on January 23) and head of the State Duma Committee on CIS Affairs Leonid Slutsky told reporters that recommendations of the Assembly mission were taken attentively at all levels in Russia. “This is true, among other things, of an initiative of introducing video observation, transparent ballot boxes at polling stations,” the legislator noted.

Speaking of the visit by the post-election mission, he said that “Kox behaves constructively, without bias and at least part of his delegation behaves the same way”.

At the same time, Slutsky reported that despite a relatively neutral position of the mission, aside of its report, a possibility persists to stage a separate urgent debate “Russia between two elections” with adoption of a very negative resolution for Moscow.

The European media launched a hullabaloo, incidentally with participation of Russian representatives of the so-called non-systemic opposition and non-government organizations,” Slutsky claimed.

He noted that Moscow rejects such a format and will suggest discussing the Russian file in the framework of ongoing debate, that is, without issuing a separate draft resolution.

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