STRASBOURG, September 30 (Itar-Tass) - An autumn session of the Parliamentary Assemby of the Council of Europe (PACE) opens here on Monday. A speech to be made by Sergei Naryshkin, Speaker of the State Duma lower house of the Russian parliament, as RF delegation leader Alexei Pushkov put it, will be the session's "central event".
Pushkov recalled that Naryshin's visit had been planed at PACE a year ago but "was frustrated through the efforts of a number of national delegations that suggested draft recommendations about a discriminatory double monitoring of Russia". "In such conditions, the (Duma Speaker's) trip turned out to be impossible. The draft recommendations were then turned down, and there are no obstacles (to the visit) any longer now," the RF chief delegate emphasized. He said that about50 Europarliamentarians expressed readiness to put questions to the State Duma Speaker."There will be five main questions from all political groups of PACE," Pushkov pointed out, adding that he expects a discussion of the most acute problems of the Russia-Europe agenda.
An urgent debate on how to settle the conflict in Syria is expected to be held within the scope of the session. "Syria is the key issue of world politics and, undoubtedly, PACE must adopt its own resolution on the issue," Pushkov said. In the opinion of the RF chief delegate, "A very serious evolution (of views) on the Syrian problem occurred in Strasbourg". "Dominating two years ago was a point of view that a democratic revolution was taking place in Syria and that the people was fighting tyranny, whereas now the viewpoint has changed, inclining to the Russian argumentation," the RF member of parliament pointed out. Pushkov said that a statement had been even adopted at the PACE Bureau session in Croatia, the statement which laid emphasis on the assumption that the Syrian problem must be solved by political mehods, not by the use of force, and that any use of chemical weapons by any side inolved in the conflict is inadmissible".
The PACE autumn session in Strasbourg is to continue until October 4.