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State Duma has no doubt about need for Eurasian parliament

September 20, 2012, 2:20 UTC+3

Leonid Slutsky is certain that the Eurasian parliament must be formed and will be formed sometime

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MOSCOW, September 19 (Itar-Tass) —— The State Duma does not subscribe to the view of the Kazakhstani representative that the idea of establishing a Eurasian parliament is unrealizable. “I am amazed at such publications,” Leonid Slutsky, the chairman of the State Duma Committee for CIS Affairs and Ties with Compatriots, told reporters on Wednesday.

He said this in connection with the fact that earlier in the day, Erlan Karin, the secretary of the presidential party Nur Otan, said in an interview with Kazakhstan’s newspaper Vremya that the idea of the Eurasian parliament cannot be realized. “This is just the wish of the Russian side,” Erlan Karin said. He said establishing the Eurasian parliament is not realistic “either in near future, or in the mid-term or the long-term perspectives,” as this threatens Kazakhstan’s national sovereignty.

Slutsky, on his part, said that he does not agree with the statements that the establishment of the Eurasian parliament is unrealistic even in a long-term perspective as this would require constitutional changes. The head of the committee recalled, specifically, European experience of the 90s when many leading politicians in West European countries expressed similar concerns about creating the European parliament in the process of the establishment of the European Union. “It is now absolutely clear to all that the European Parliament is the indispensible institution of the European Union,” Slutsky noted.

He is certain that the Eurasian parliament must be formed and will be formed sometime. “There is no doubt that the advance to the parliamentary dimension of the future Eurasian union should be started now,” the MP stressed.

Slutsky also pointed out that Kazakhstan did not assume that stance at the September meeting of the trilateral working group aiming to come up with the structure of the future parliamentary dimension of Eurasian integration. The head of the committee noted it is early to speak of forming the Eurasian parliament, at any rate, until the agreement on the establishment of the Eurasian union is signed. “We can be creating, as Kazakhstan proposed early this year, the Eurasian Inter-parliamentary Assembly, in which MPs from the countries of the Customs Union can work, and the common economic space. The Eurasian Inter-parliamentary Assembly can become the forerunner of the future full-fledged Eurasian parliament,” said the MP.

However, at the present stage, he said, it is absolutely clear that the “future Eurasian economic union, undoubtedly, must have and will have its parliamentary dimension.” Slutsky pointed out that the working group of the parliamentary “troika” must work out the road map of the parliamentary dimension of Eurasian integration, but no more than that. “Then the road map will be referred to the presidents of the three states (Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan – Itar-Tass), also for the purpose of drafting the related chapter in the future agreement on the establishment of the Eurasian Economic Union,” the head of the committee said.

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