MOSCOW, September 26. /TASS/. Some of the European Union countries seem to be "embarrassed" for the behavior of a number of their new allies, Sergey Naryshkin, former speaker of Russia’s previous State Duma lower parliament house, wrote in an article "Together Against Risks" published on the Rossiiskaya Gazeta website on Monday.
He expressed gratitude to President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) Pedro Agramunt and his colleagues "for sincerity and openness displayed at the latest meeting" that was held in Moscow in early September. "And we see the problems in their dialogue with members of certain national delegations," he noted.
"Even European experts say that unbiased discussion of pressing problems is often hindered by odious position of delegates from the Baltic states, Poland, Ukraine and a number of other countries. It looks like the Old Europe is simply embarrassed for the behavior of some of its new allies," for such their steps as restrictions on entry for scientists and people of culture, Naryshkin wrote.
"These problems will go on surfacing and will hinder not only our joint and natural striving to live in a Europe free from division lines but also European Union member countries to build their future independently," he added.
He underscored that he has always been in favor of preserving partner relations with all countries of the world. "We must do our best to spare the humankind from the threat of new wars in the 21st century," Naryshkin wrote. "But these risks will dramatically grow when off-region players far from Europe’s interests in all senses go on interfering into the affairs of the continent."
Naryshkin called on PACE to resume full-format dialogue on security and other pressing problems. He stressed that it is necessary to begin with reforms of European structures that were once established to promote dialogue. "Twenty years ago, Russia joined these structures for the sake of this dialogue, believing that this step was a chance for closer cooperation," Naryshkin noted.
In April 2014, the Russian delegation to PACE was stripped of key rights following the developments in Ukraine and Crimea’s reunification with Russia. The issue of restoring the rights of the Russian delegation was raised at PACE twice throughout 2015 but the sanctions are still in place: Russia is deprived of the right to vote and cannot take part in the Assembly’s governing bodies and elections monitoring missions. In response, Russia suspended its participation in the PACE activities till the end of 2015. In January 2016, Russia refrained from applying for confirmation of its rights for 2016.
After talks with a visiting PACE delegation led by its President Pedro Agramunt on September 7, Naryshkin said PACE wants the Russian delegation to resume full-format participation in the Assembly’s work. Naryshkin also confirmed that Russian lawmakers are ready to resume full-format cooperation within PACE but only "on the principle of equality which is a fundamental one for that organization.".