MOSCOW, September 13. /ITAR-TASS/. Dialogue with U.S. lawmakers is possible if they give up the idea of their “exclusiveness” and conduct it on equal terms, State Duma (lower house of parliament) Speaker Sergei Naryshkin said on Saturday.
Commenting on suggestions that inter-parliamentary cooperation with the United States should be invigorated, Naryshkin said the idea was “reasonable, normal and correct”.
“There is nothing unnatural about it,” he said, adding that its enforceability was the main issue.
A year ago, amid the Syrian crisis, Russian lawmakers “invited their overseas colleagues to meet in order to exchange views, state their opinion on the situation in Syria and try together to determine how to come to consensus and de-escalate the conflict”, Naryshkin said.
But the offer was turned down by Washington. “I have no idea what their motives were. I can only guess that they were afraid of conducting an open dialogue,” he added.
Naryshkin said “any dialogue, and an inter-parliamentary one especially, should be equal and respect the partner’s opinion”.
“But for that the American parliamentarians will have to give up their ‘habit’ to dominate and reject the idea, which has been very actively implanted in people’s minds lately, that Americans are an exclusive nation. This is what must not be,” he said.
Naryshkin said a dialogue without that will be useless and expressed hope that “our partners will sooner or later realise their responsibility for the fate of the world and sooner or later such dialogue will be possible”.
He denied allegations that he was planning to shift the focus in his inter-parliamentary contacts from Europe to elsewhere. “They will not be reoriented,” he said, adding, however, that he would work in other “geographical directions” as well.
“My plans … include Vietnam, India, Iraq, the Arab East, and Algeria. It all takes time, and we will be working step by step in all these directions. But we will also continue to work with our European colleagues,” Naryshkin said.