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Russia not to boycott PACE session – head of Russian delegation

September 27, 2012, 14:41 UTC+3

“Moscow will continue cooperation with the Council of Europe” in a full-scale format,” he stressed

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MOSCOW, September 27 (Itar-Tass) —— Russia is not going to boycott the session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), head of the Russian delegation and chairman of the international committee of the lower parliament house Alexei Pushkov said on Thursday.

“A boycott is out of the question, the delegation is planning no demarche moves,” he said. “Moscow will continue cooperation with the Council of Europe” in a full-scale format,” he stressed.

Leonid Slutsky, a deputy head of the Russian delegation, also said earlier that the Russian delegation planned to attend the PACE session. “We respect the position of the State Duma speaker, Sergei Naryshkin. It is his decision. Debates are going to be heated. As for us, we will clench out teeth and go on working in the most uncomfortable and uneasy conditions whatsoever. We shall do our best to render the final resolution on the monitoring report on Russia a balanced character,” he stressed.

Apart from that, he said he was displeased to learn that the draft resolution, which had been approved by the monitoring committee a month ago, was unexpectedly supplemented by recommendations to the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe in respect of Russia, “which emerged from nowhere.” “In the entire history of the Assembly, not a single country monitoring reports has ever been complemented by such recommendations,” he said. As a matter of fact, he noted, it means that the monitoring influences executive authorities, which “is a vivid example of double standards the Council of Europe has been applying to Russia in recent years.”

Earlier on Thursday, State Duma speaker Naryshkin said he was not going to attend a session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE).

“I believe it would be expedient for me to speak at a PACE session when the situation is right,” he told journalists. “Once I was pleased to accept an invitation to deliver a speech at a PACE session and was preparing to speak about big problems in the development of parliamentarism in Europe, about forming a frontier-free Europe. But as the session opening was nearing we felt that my big strategic proposals were unlikely to be heard by a number of Parliamentary Assembly leaders and some Russophobic delegations.”

“It looks like they are more interested in something else,” he stressed.

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe is expected to hear a report of Andreas Gross of Switzerland and Giorgi Frunda of Romania about Russia’s fulfillment of its liabilities as a Council of Europe member. According to media reports, a draft resolution calls to continue PACE monitoring of Russia over Europe’s claims to its foreign policy and the human rights situation.

Some of Russian lawmakers have already described the draft resolution as “insulting” Russia.

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