MOSCOW, March 31. /ITAR-TASS/. The Russian State Duma (lower house of parliament) is ready to cooperate with the Ukrainian Verkhovna Rada (national parliament), Nikolai Kovalev, chairman of the Duma Security Committee, said after a meeting between Duma speaker Sergei Naryshkin and a delegation of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) on Monday, March 31.
He said the situation was complex, but Russian MPs were “experiencing no problems in contacts, meetings and discussions with Rada deputies”.
“The Rada is working and this is probably one of the partly legitimate bodies in Ukraine. We will work with them, we will meet and try to bridge the gap in our positions on different issues,” Kovalev said.
Speaking about the talks with the OSCE PA delegation, he said they had been held in a “very confidential” atmosphere and “it was stated that the crisis cannot be resolved without Russia”.
“The most important thing discussed was that it is necessary to prevent further deterioration of the situation and relations which could lead to human casualties. We are grateful to the head of the Parliamentary Assembly of the OSCE, Ranko Krivokapic, for extending a helping hand at a time of crisis and stating his readiness to provide possible assistance in settling the crisis,” Kovalev said.
Krivokapic suggested holding a meeting between the Russian and Ukrainian delegations to the organisation. He also called for fostering “an active parliamentary dialogue” and suggested that the Russian and Ukrainian parliamentary delegations meet in Vienna.
In his opinion, the Russian delegation could be headed by Nikolai Kovalev, OSCE special representative and chairman of the Duma Security Committee; the Ukrainian delegation could be led by Oleg Zarubinsky.
Krivokapic believes that the delegations could have the same composition they had before the crisis in Ukraine. “They have the legitimacy,” he said.
He also invited Kovalev to attend the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly Bureau’s meeting on April 6-7.