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MOSCOW, March 6 (Itar-Tass) —— Vice-Speaker of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) and Chairman of the State Duma Committee for CIS Affairs, Leonid Slutsky, hopes that PACE will refrain from urgent or prioritized debates on the Russian presidential elections. “There is no such initiative yet, there are also no reasons for this,” he told reporters.
Slutsky confirmed that the conclusions made by the PACE observer mission headed by Tiny Cox will be presented on the first day of a PACE session in Strasbourg in April, and the preliminary results of the observer mission will also be discussed at the PACE Bureau in Paris in the first decade of March.
On Monday, Tiny Cox stated that Russian presidential elections were not quite fair, there was no real competition among the candidates, but their legitimacy and Vladimir Putin’s victory cannot be doubted. Cox did not rule out that the Russian presidential elections can be discussed in PACE not only in a report of the observer mission, but also in the format of special debates.
Slutsky noted that despite some remarks the conclusions made by the PACE observers “are much more positive” than those after the parliamentary elections in December 2011. “In the work with PACE one should act like in the sport and to compare himself not with someone, but with himself, as well as the views on us and our elections in Strasbourg,” Slutsky said. He believes that though the initial assessments of the PACE observers for the Russian presidential elections contain some elements of criticism, but are also constructive for the recognition of the election results.
As for the debates on the Russian presidential elections, Slutsky recalled that PACE already had scheduled debates in January without adopting any resolution, the debates entitled "Russia between two elections."