MOSCOW, March 16. /TASS/. Speaker of Russia State Duma (lower house of parliament), Vyacheslav Volodin, promised to exert every effort to develop the Russian-French inter-parliamentary dialogue.
"We see that quite a few initiatives put forward by French lawmakers are aimed at developing relations. For our part, we will do our utmost to make sure that this dialogue develops," he said at a meeting with a delegation of French parliamentarians led by French National Assembly member, Thierry Mariani.
Volodin also spoke out in favor of further development of inter-parliamentary ties and cooperation in economic development and the implementation of humanitarian projects. "I know that you pay considerable attention to that," he told Mariani.
"We would like to request your support at PACE so that there is no discrimination of our national delegations," Volodin said.
Volodin recalled that after Russia’s delegation was stripped of its right to vote at PACE in April 2014, the parliamentarians refused to take part in the organization’s activities until the regulation was changed to "protect the rights of national delegations."
"Democratic principles should be the basis of work of any parliamentary body, and moreover, the principles of parliamentarism must not be violated by any means. We believe that the parliament is a place where the sides discuss issues, voice different points of view and criticism, and if someone does not like it, then they should give arguments," Volodin stressed.
"When a whole parliamentary delegation is deprived of the right to vote, this contradicts the principles of democracy and the mere principles of the parliament. That’s why we would like you to also know about our position, taking into consideration that we think (and PACE president shares this view) that there should be 47 delegations at PACE representing 47 countries, and not 46 as today due to the situation after we were deprived of the vote," he added.