LONDON, June 12 (Itar-Tass) - Speaker of the Russian Federation Council upper parliament house Valentina Matviyenko on Wednesday invited the Lord Speaker of the House of Lords in the Parliament of the United Kingdon, Baroness D'Souza, to come to Russia to attend festival events on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of Russian parliamentarism and constitution to be marked in December 2013.
Accepting the invitation Baroness D’Souza jested she that she already had her luggage packed. “Well, since your luggage is already packed, you have an open invitation to visit Russia any time you like,” the Russian speaker said.
Matviyenko noted that it was her third meeting with the British Lord Speaker in the past two years. Such meetings, she noted, help “exchange views and discuss topical problems in an open and honest manner.”
The year 2014 will see a cross year of the Russian British culture, she reminded. This initiative, in her words, will make it possible to make cultural exchanges in an atmosphere of trust and mutual understanding, to recall common episodes in history.
According to Matviyenko, at the meeting with her British counterpart, they also discussed such problems as the situation in Syria, the visa regime between the two countries, Britain’s refusal to extradite Russian citizens suspected of committing crimes, the situation around the Russian law on non-government organizations, and others. “It was an open and honest conversation,” she stressed.
Later on Wednesday, Matviyenko met with the Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow.