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Russian lawmaker: National parliaments were ignored when deciding on anti-Russia sanctions

January 14, 14:20 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The political decision to extend sanctions against Russia was made on 18 December 2015 by the ambassadors of 28 EU member countries
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Russia's State Duma Speaker Sergey Naryshkin

Russia's State Duma Speaker Sergey Naryshkin

© Alexandr Shalgin/Russia's parliament press service/TASS

MOSCOW, January 14. /TASS/. Deputies of many EU countries are outraged at the fact that the opinions of national parliaments were ignored in the issues of imposing and extending economic sanctions against Russia, State Duma Speaker Sergey Naryshkin said at the Gaidar Forum on Thursday.

When the EU authorities were discussing "such important issues that affect interests of hundreds of thousands of residents of EU member countries — imposing and extending the so-called economic sanctions [against Russia] — no one was interested in the opinions of national parliaments on that matter," Naryshkin said. "I talked to colleagues — MPs [of EU countries], and they, of course, are outraged, they say that is the way it is and they regret that they have lost part of their national sovereignty," the Duma speaker added.

He noted that "historically, the first and foremost task of parliaments in different countries and at different times was imposing taxes, approving budget and controlling government spending." "That is precisely why parliaments were created. In fact, the role of the parliament now, in resolving economic and other state problems, proceeds from the nature of parliamentary democracy," Naryshkin stressed.

"Attempts to push the supreme legislative body to the background, belittle its role in comparison with other bodies of power will never lead to anything good," Naryshkin continued. "That is what the practice of the European Union demonstrates when some very important powers of national parliaments were handed to EU structures," the Duma speaker concluded.

The political decision to extend sanctions against Russia was made on 18 December 2015 by the ambassadors of 28 EU member countries at the session of the Committee of Permanent Representatives in the European Union (COREPER). On December 22 the decision to extend economic sanctions against Russia entered into force. Restrictive economic measures will remain in force until 31 July 2016.

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