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A Just Russia party leaders to discuss protection of Russia’s interests with diplomats.

April 05, 2014, 2:21 UTC+3 MOSCOW
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MOSCOW, April 05, /ITAR-TASS/. The A Just Russia party will on Saturday hold a meeting of its Council of the Chamber of Deputies, as well as its Central Council to discuss protection of the interests of the Russian Federation in conditions of the crisis in Ukraine, which is in political turmoil.

Representatives of the Russian Foreign Ministry and the Federal Agency for the Commonwealth of Independent States, Compatriots Living Abroad and International Humanitarian Cooperation (Rossotrudnichestvo) have been invited to attend the Deputies Chamber meeting.

“During the meeting we want to obtain first-hand information on the situation with the protection of Russia’s interests by diplomatic methods in light of the events in Ukraine,” Nikolay Levichev, the chairman of A Just Russia’s Council of the Chamber of Deputies, who will attend the event, told Itar-Tass.

The political and economic situation in Ukraine is far from stable following a coup that occurred in the country in February after violent anti-government protests, which started in November 2013 when the country suspended the signing of an association agreement with the European Union in favor of closer ties with Russia.

Security concerns caused President Viktor Yanukovich to leave Ukraine. Amid riots that involved radicals, new people were brought to power in Kiev.

The crisis deepened when the Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol, a city with a special status on the Crimean Peninsula, held a referendum on March 16 in which most of their residents decided for Crimea to secede from Ukraine and reunify with Russia. The admission deals with Moscow were signed on March 18.

In Levichev’s words, the latest events in Ukraine caused serious changes in Russia’s relations with its foreign partners.

“As a party that has for many years been involved in energetic international activity, we feel that this also tells on our partner-like interparty connections, on our participation in various formats of international organizations, parliamentary and inter-parliamentary structures,” Levichev said.

He said A Just Russia party members plan to adopt a statement at the meeting of the Central Council.

“We will distribute that statement through the channels of the Socialist International to our partners with whom we have interparty relations,” Levichev said.

The party, he said, hopes that step will make it possible to “use all channels of influence on the international public opinion and attract attention to facts of political repressions that the self-proclaimed authorities in Ukraine are easily using today”.

The Central Council meeting will also touch upon A Just Russia’s tasks in conditions of constitutional development of Russia’s statehood.

The meetings will be attended by Levichev, party leader Sergey Mironov, State Duma deputies, and heads of A Just Russia factions in Russian regional legislatures, as well as representatives of regional branches.

Moscow’s position that the Crimean referendum was in full conformity with the international law and the UN Charter, and also in line with the precedent set by Kosovo’s secession from Serbia in 2008, has been repeatedly stated by Russian President Vladimir Putin and other Russian officials.

However, Ukraine’s new authorities and the West have denounced the Crimean plebiscite claiming it was illegal, and have refused to recognize Crimea part of Russia.

Western countries even moved further, imposing targeted sanctions on some Russian officials, but Moscow responded tit for tat. The West has threatened Russia with new economic sanctions unless Moscow changes its foreign policy.

In the Soviet Union, Crimea used to be part of Russia until 1954, when it was gifted to Ukraine by Soviet Communist Party leader Nikita Khrushchev.

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