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Duma speaker to take floor at PACE

October 01, 2013, 7:49 UTC+3

Sergei Naryshkin's speech from the Assembly’s rostrum is destined to become the central event of this year’s autumn session

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Photo ITAR-TASS/Sergei Karpov

Photo ITAR-TASS/Sergei Karpov

STRASBOURG, October 1 (Itar-Tass) - Speaker of Russia’s State Duma, Sergei Naryshkin is due to take the floor at a session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) Tuesday.

His speech from the Assembly’s rostrum is destined to become the central event of this year’s autumn session, said Dr. Alexei Pushkov, the chairman of the Duma foreign policy committee.

He recalled that Naryshkin’s visit to PACE was due to take place a year ago but the plans were disrupted then by the efforts of a number of national delegations, which submitted a discriminatory draft document on subjecting Russia to double monitoring.

“The trip became impossible in those conditions then,” Pushkov said. “Still the discriminatory draft flopped and there are no obstacles (to the trip) today.”

He also said that about fifty European MPs made known their readiness to ask Naryshkin some questions.

“The main five questions will be forwarded by each of the five political factions represented at PACE,” Pushkov said, adding that he anticipated a discussion of all the items on the Russian-European agenda.

Tuesday, Naryshkin will meet with the Council of Europe leaders -- PACE President Jean-Claude Mignon, Council of Europe Secretary General Thorbjorn Jagland, and Human Rights Commissioner Nils Muiznieks.

Mignon said in a comment on the agenda of the meeting he planned telling Naryshkin personally that he was satisfied with Russia’s initiative on the Syrian problem and content with the fact the UN Security Council had managed to adopt a resolution making it possible to avoid a military interference in the conflict.”

After Naryshkin’s address, the European MPs will get down to discussing a report on the procedure of monitoring executed by PACE from June 2012 through September 2013. It has been compiled by Estonian deputy Anders Herkel. The draft recommendations to the document say, among other things, that PACE urges the cabinet committee of ministers to include future reports on monitoring regularly in the agendas of its meetings.

The Russian delegation disagrees with the proposal, since it actually boils down to a replication of the PACE monitoring at the level of the ministers committee, Alexei Pushkov said.

“That’s a yet another attempt to breathe life into the idea of dual monitoring and it again shows discrimination against the states subjected to the procedure,” he said. “It appears that the more the states fulfill their obligations, the broader the monitoring.”

In the meantime, well-informed sources told Itar-Tass at least two of the five factions in PACE had reached agreement on voting against the endorsement of this recommendation.

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