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Russian lawmaker notes consolidation of anti-Russian forces at PACE

December 25, 2015, 17:10 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Russia has not yet made a decision whether to take part in PACE’s January session
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Alexey Pushkov

Alexey Pushkov

© Anna Isakova/Russian state Duma press service/TASS

MOSCOW, December 25. /TASS/. The draft resolution submitted to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) that condemns Russia on several matters is evidence of consolidation of anti-Russian forces in the Assembly ahead of the January session, State Duma’s International Affairs Committee head Alexey Pushkov told journalists on Friday.

"In the situation when Russia has not yet made a decision whether to take part in PACE’s January session, anti-Russian forces in this organization put forward a proposal to adopt another resolution directed against Russia," Pushkov, who also heads the Russian delegation to PACE, said adding that the resolution on "violations of human rights in Russia" was proposed by a member of the Ukrainian delegation Irina Geraschenko.

The draft resolution calls for "condemning Russia on several matters that in reality represent Russophobic fantasies of the authors of this text," Pushkov said. The examples of fantasies are "violence and discrimination in occupied Crimea," "tortures of women in occupied Donbass" and even the situation in Abkhazia and South Ossetia, he added.

"The text of this initiative signed by several leaders of political factions in PACE shows that the anti-Russian part of the Assembly wants to consolidate its positions and use the January session to attack Russia again," Pushkov said. At the time when Europe and the whole world is threatened by a direct threat from international terrorism "confirmed by terrorist attacks in different countries of the world, the anti-Russian wing in PACE insists on continuing political confrontation with her instead of uniting efforts," he noted.

"This means that even if some PACE members go through some shifts in their political psychology that reflect the importance of cooperating with Russia, they are still far from qualitatively changing the mood in the organization," he concluded.

Last year, the parliamentary arm of the 47-nation Council of Europe, promoting democracy and human rights across the continent, stripped Russia of voting rights following events in Ukraine. It suspended both Russia's right to sit on its governing bodies and Russian participation in election observer missions.

Russian parliamentary delegates left the April session before its official completion as a gesture of protest and refused to take part in future PACE activities, staying away from the assembly's summer and autumn sessions. At the January session, PACE extended its sanctions against Russia’s delegation until April. In response, Moscow severed contact with the group for another year.

State Duma International Affairs Committee chairman Alexey Pushkov said earlier that the issue of Russia’s participation in PACE’s January session is connected with the position on making a payment to the Council of Europe. The final decision will be made in January, he added. "We are thinking now what to do with PACE. We will make a decision in January but before the session, of course," Pushkov noted.

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