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Russian parliament calls on US Congress to revive inter-parliamentary dialogue

November 01, 2016, 15:36 UTC+3 MOSCOW

A senator says US leaves unanswered proposal of Russian lawmakers to hold meeting

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© AP Photo/Susan Walsh

MOSCOW, November 1. /TASS/. Russia’s parliament is open for dialogue with the United States and calls on the U.S. Congress to resume inter-parliamentary contacts on key issues of the international agenda, first of all, on the Syrian settlement, a senior Russian lawmaker said on Tuesday.

"We will be open for dialogue and will call on our partners in Washington to begin such dialogue with us," Leonid Slutsky, the chairman of the international committee of the Russian State Duma lower parliament house, told journalists.

In his words, the heads of international committees at both houses of the Russian parliament have referred a relevant letter to the U.S. Congress.

"The situation in the Russia-U.S. relations is destructive and causes serious concern," Slutsky said. "We are still waiting for a reply. However we hope little that the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives answer our call to meet with delegates from our committees and commissions to discuss the current situation."

The Russian lawmaker pledged that Russia’s parliament "will spare no effort to use parliamentary diplomacy to try to find new possibilities for the search for common sense, a common language on key dossiers of the international and bilateral agenda" in relations with the United States.

Unanswered proposal 

The US Congress representatives have not responded to a proposal of Russian lawmakers to hold a meeting and discuss bilateral and international issues, Slutsky said.

The letter was sent to the foreign affairs committees of the US Congress and the House of Representatives on October 11 by Slutsky and Konstantin Kosachev, who heads the Federation Council’s foreign affairs committee.

The Russian lawmakers called to "gather and discuss the topical dossier of both international and bilateral agenda." "However, unfortunately, our request still remains unanswered," Slutsky said.

"This apparently speaks about the unwillingness of our colleagues from Washington to hold talks with parliamentarians from Russia," the lawmaker said, adding that Moscow takes note of the ongoing election campaign in the US. "Of course, this situation seriously concerns us."

Slutsky recalled that Russia has faced many accusations of late, including for its alleged role in hacker attacks against key resources in the US cyber space. Back in late 2015, Russia suggested carrying out a joint investigation with the US in this area, but this proposal was left unanswered, he said.

US election

According to Slutsky, Russian lawmakers are highly unlikely to be invited to monitor presidential elections in the United States on November 8.

"Our lawmakers will go there if they are invited. So, we are waiting for such an invitation from Washington, if any," Slutsky said.

"If you want to hear my personal opinion, I am not sure we will have such an invitation, bearing in mind the current campaign on marginalization and demonization of Russia in the United States’ information and political space," he said.

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