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MOSCOW, December 3 /TASS/. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov called for strengthening the Council of Europe as an independent pan-European organization at a meeting with Council of Europe Secretary General Thorbjorn Jagland held in the Serb capital Belgrade.
The sides "discussed prospects for further cooperation of pan-European interaction with the Council of Europe framework on the threshold of 2016 when Russia is going to mark the 20th anniversary of its Council of Europe membership (February 28, 2016), the Russian Foreign Ministry said.
The Russian side, the Russian Foreign Ministry went on to say, confirmed the need to strengthen the Council of Europe as an independent pan-European organization, which uses its conventional mechanisms to form a common legal and humanitarian space from the Atlantic to the Pacific and create an atmosphere of equal cooperation in Europe based on mutual respect.
Lavrov is attending the 22nd OSCE Ministerial Conference, which opened in Belgrade on December 3.