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MOSCOW, January 25 /TASS/. Alexey Pushkov, the head of the Russian State Duma Committee for Foreign Affairs, expressed the hope on Monday that PACE’s newly elected President Pedro Agramunt would exert all necessary efforts to create conditions for resuming PACE’s constructive dialogue with Russia.
"In our view [the former PACE president] Anne Brasseur did not create the necessary conditions for resuming an equal and constructive dialogue with Russia. We hope that Pedro Agramunt will exert every effort, to a degree that depends on him, to restore this dialogue," Pushkov told TASS.
Puhskov described Agramunt as a realistic and sober minded politician. "But naturally he is linked to the stances of his own party and his colleagues from the European People’s Party. It would be wrong to call his stance pro-Russian. He is more likely to favour the return to a full-fledged dialogue with Russia and normalization of relations between PACE and Russia," Pushkov said.
He expressed the hope that positive shifts would take place in PACE under Agramunt’s presidency. "The current majority existing at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) and its anti-Russian approaches … have practically led to confrontation between Russia and PACE," the Russian lawmaker said adding that the Russian delegation had refused to ask for its powers at PACE at the January session 2016.
At the same time, Pushkov said the PACE president could have certain influence on the moods and sentiment inside the organization. "But he is more of a moderator who cannot dictate political parties and separate PACE deputies how to vote," he stressed.
Pushkov warned against pinning unjustified hopes on Agramunt’s presidency. "We should not expect that a considerable part of PACE members will fundamentally change their stance on the need to preserve sanctions against Russia after Agramunt has replaced Anne Brasseur in her post," Pushkov said.
"The PACE president is a figure who can create or not to create conditions for some kind of movement or progress," Agramunt stressed.
Spanish politician Pedro Agramunt was elected as new PACE president on Monday. He replaced his predecessor Anne Brasseur who had headed PACE for the past two years.
The PACE president is elected for one year with the right to be re-elected for another 12-months term.