MOSCOW, March 10. /TASS/. Speaker of Russia’s State Duma (lower house of parliament), Vyacheslav Volodin, has expressed the hope that the Russian delegation’s conversation with the senior officials of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) in Madrid at a meeting of the PACE Standing Committee on Friday will be successful. The two sides are expected to discuss ways out of the protracted crisis in cooperation between Russia and the Strasbourg assembly.
"The delegation is well-prepared. They are professionals. Those who are to meet (with the assembly’s senior officials) today, are well aware of the PACE issue and the problems related to the imperfection of its rules that regulate the work of the PACE delegations," Volodin TASS on Friday when asked about his expectations of the meeting. "So I think the conversation is to be successful," he said.
Russian lawmakers arrived in Madrid on Thursday at the invitation of PACE President, Pedro Agramunt. The delegation is led by State Duma Deputy Speaker, Pyotr Tolstoy. The lower house of the Russian parliament is also represented by chairmen of the International Affairs and CIS Affairs Committees, Leonid Slutsky and Leonid Kalashnikov, and the Federation Council (upper house of parliament) - by head of the International Affairs Committee, Konstantin Kosachev, and his deputy, Vladimir Lukin.
The Russian delegation will attend a Standing Committee session where one of 15 issues on the agenda will be considered, namely, an exchange of views with Russian parliamentarians on cooperation between PACE and Russia’s Federal Assembly (parliament) in 2017. A source in the State Duma has informed TASS that Russian MPs could meet with the assembly’s senior officials and leaders of its political groups on the sidelines of the meeting.