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PACE has turned into platform for anti-democrats and Russophobes - Russian MP

June 30, 2017, 23:35 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Earlier on Friday, PACE made public a petition demanding resignation of its President Pedro Agramunt

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MOSCOW, June 30. /TASS/. The summer session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), which initiated a procedure to impeach its president, Pedro Agramunt, has eventually ended in a triumph of anti-democrats and Russophobes, a senior Russian lawmaker said on Friday.

"PACE’s June session in Strasbourg has turned into a triumph of anti-democrats and Russophobes. Each day of this session was marked by demonstration of double standards and adoption of resolutions that run counter to common sense," Leonid Slutsky, the chairman of the international committee of the Russian State Duma lower parliament house, told journalists.

Earlier on Friday, PACE made public a petition demanding resignation of its President Pedro Agramunt. This way, it kicked off an impeachment mechanism it had endorsed in amendments to its regulations earlier this week. The document demanding Agramunt’s resignation was signed by 158 PACE members representing five political groups and 36 national delegations. Now, this document will be put for voting at the Assembly’s autumn session.

According to Slutsky, these amendments to PACE’s regulations run counter to both principles of parliamentarism and the Council of Europe’s charter, and to common sense and more and more European politicians understand that. "At his own initiative and risking his own life, Agramunt visited the country where the biggest terrorism threat to Europe originates from. But this visit was assessed not in the light of anti-terrorism cooperation but in the context of it being paid jointly with a Russian State Duma delegation, which fact provoked the strongest negative reaction from PACE Russophobes," the Russian lawmaker noted.

"These Russophobes killed a constructive initiative that provides for the establishment of another - the sixth - political group in PACE, Free Democrats, which was supposed to incorporate representatives from 12 European states, such as France, Monaco, Spain, Italy, Serbia, Turkey, Azerbaijan, and others," he said, adding that this group was to be led by Adele Gambaro, with Thierry Mariani being its secretary. "But the group was dubbed as ‘pro-Russian’ and was denied existence for that reason," Slutsky noted with regret.

As for Agramunt, he is a "courageous man stigmatize merely for his constructive position on resuming dialogue with Russia and an attempt to clarify Syrian realities," the Russian MP stressed. "We will continue to support him, as we will continue cooperation with healthy forces in the Council of Europe which see no future on the European continent without Russia. And we see that more and more European politicians begin to think that way.".

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