STRASBOURG, April 22 (Itar-Tass) – No full-format meeting between the Russian and Georgian delegations is planned within the April session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), leader of the Russian delegation Alexei Pushkov, who chairs the international committee in the Russian State Duma lower parliament house, said on Monday.
The possibility of such meeting was discussed at the PACE session in January as a step to resume relations between Moscow and Tbilisi. This meeting was seen as the first full-format talks between the Russian and Georgian delegations within the PACE framework since the conflict in August 2008. But, according to Pushkov, the current agenda includes no such meeting. He did not elaborate why.
However, he said that a possibility of such contacts in still in place. “All will depend on on the evolution of the Russian-Georgian relations,” he stressed.
Meanwhile, deputy leader of the Russian delegation, Leonid Slutsky, who chairs the State Duma CIS committee, said that parliamentary diplomacy might be the first step in the process of resumption of comprehensive relations between the two countries. “There are certain prerequisites for that in Georgia’s new parliament. We shall try to resume cooperation with our Georgian colleagues at the PACE platform, at least in what concerns humanitarian issues. We are in no hurry,” Slutsky said.
The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe begins its spring session in Strasbourg on Monday. Its agenda includes a report by Georgian Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili planned for April 23.