MOSCOW, September 13. /ITAR-TASS/. Speaker of the Russian State Duma Sergei Naryshkin will head the Russian delegation to the meeting of the inter-parliament Contact Group of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly on Ukraine, due on the margins of the Assembly’s autumn session in Geneva in early October.
In an interview with Russian information agencies, the speaker confirmed he had accepted an invitation from OSCE PA head Ilkka Kanerva.
“Yes,” he said. “How could I not agree if I was the author of the initiative. As the OSCE PA accepted it, Mr Kanerva asked me to be head of the Russian part of that working group. I answered: of course, I will.”
The meeting of the Contact Group is expected to feature participants of twelve countries. Naryshkin said he did not ask who would represent Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada.
“As far as I know, Kanerva asked parliamentary leaders of those countries to participate in the work - either the speakers or authorized persons of high positions at the parliaments,” he said.
Naryshkin thanked head of the OSCE PA “for having supported us so actively and for promoting this idea, for his efforts, which are rather big.”
“Our Ukrainian counterparts have kept silent for quite a time about whether they will participate in the working group.” Nevertheless, the process continues, he said.
The Contact Group of the OSCE PA was organized in late June at the session in Baku at the initiative of the State Duma’s speaker Sergei Naryshkin. The Group should feature 10-12 representatives of the Organisation’s member countries.
The participants in the meeting will work on recommendations for peaceful overcoming of the Ukrainian crisis and for informing OSCE on the events in Ukraine’s south-eastern regions. Initially, the Group’s first meeting was due in September-October.