THESSALONIKI, July 5. /TASS/. Chairman of the State Duma lower house International Affairs Committee Alexei Pushkov has said election of Austrian parliamentarian Christine Muttonen President of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly (PA) was a victory of the moderate part of Europe over the aggressive anti-Russian one.
"The victory of Austrian socialist Muttonen over candidate from Mikheil Saakashvili’s party - Tsereteli - is the victory of Europe’s moderate part over the aggressive anti-Russian one," Pushkov who is a member of the Russian delegation at the OSCE PA told reporters on Tuesday. "It is also a victory over the policy aimed at isolating Russia the US and Canadian delegations are trying to pursue in the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly and other floors," he said.
According to the lawmaker, the way votes were distributed in the first (91 vs 86) and in the second rounds (86 vs 73) shows that the competition was "really tough."
"We can see that OSCE is nearly split in two halves but with the advantage for the moderate trend supporters who believe that dialogue with Russia, cooperation with Russia and search for joint solutions with Russia are necessary rather than for those who have pushed ahead with ‘fruitless anti-Russian resolutions’ year after year," he added.
Moreover, Pushkov considers Tuesday’s voting to be "the evidence of the general rift in Europe over Russia." "We can see this rift in Germany between the Christian Democratic Union, the ruling structures, the social-democrats in France where only socialists favor anti-Russian sanctions and all other political parties are opposed to them. We can see the growing rift in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), and now it was seen in full measure during the voting for the OSCE PA President," he said.
"This shows that two very strong trends are clashing in Europe, one of them for dialogue and cooperation, the other - for confrontation and the so-called Russia’s containment. I believe that the first trend is getting stronger slowly but steadily compared to the second," Pushkov said. In his view, the fact that "Ms.Muttonen represents a neutral country, which is not a NATO member," is a positive thing, "because neutral countries can play a more productive role in launching the pan-European inter-parliamentary dialogue."
When asked about the prospective contacts between Muttonen and the State Duma, Pushkov recalled that Sergey Naryshkin, the speaker of the lower house of Russian parliament, had permanent contacts with former OSCE PA President Ilkka Kanerva. "I am confident that meetings and interaction with the newly-elected speaker will be regular as well," he said.