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Russian lawmakers should mull cooperation format with Ukraine’s Rada - Duma speaker

September 24, 2014, 20:23 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Addressing a session of the State Duma’s working group on the analysis of the Ukrainian legislature Sergey Naryshkin said that a group of Ukrainian lawmakers paid a visit last week to the State Duma

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Sergey Naryshkin

Sergey Naryshkin

© ITAR-TASS/Stanislav Krasilnikov

MOSCOW, September 24. /ITAR-TASS/. Sergey Naryshkin, the speaker of the Russian parliament’s lower house, said on Wednesday it would be feasible for lawmakers to start working out a format for the future cooperation with the Ukrainian parliament, the Verkhovna Rada.

Addressing a session of the State Duma’s working group on the analysis of the Ukrainian legislature Naryshkin said that a group of Ukrainian lawmakers paid a visit last week to the State Duma.

“Unfortunately, Verkhovna Rada Speaker Alexander Turchinov called those dignified citizens of Ukraine traitors and now proposes to strip them of their salaries and bar them from Verkhovna Rada sessions,” Naryshkin said.

Naryshkin said that such behavior and statements on behalf of the Ukrainian parliament’s speaker “characterize the level of democracy in the present-day Verkhovna Rada and the essence of modern Ukraine’s course towards the European integration.”

Russian lawmakers, Naryshkin said, need also to pay close attention to preparations in Ukraine for the upcoming parliamentary elections, scheduled for October 26.

“We see against which background the preparations are taking place,” he said. “The background is negative and it is first of all because of failure to investigate into crimes committed in Kiev, Odessa, Mariupol as well as in the cities and residential areas of Donbass. In addition there are mass violations of human rights and, in fact, the destruction of two parliamentary political parties and closure of some television channels.”

Taking part in Ukraine’s October 26 parliamentary elections from political parties there will be mostly public activists, journalists and representatives of armed groups of volunteers, who were involved in what Kiev authorities called an anti-terrorist operation in the east of the country. In the majoritarian constituencies, nomination of candidates will last until September 25.

The pro-presidential party, Solidarity, has changed its name to register under a brand much clearer to the average voter - the Pyotr Poroshenko Bloc. It has incorporated the party UDAR (literally translating as Punch) under Kiev’s mayor, former boxer Vitali Klitschko, leading the party’s election ticket.

Batkivschchina, the party under former Prime Minister Yulia Timoshenko, has put on top of its candidates list the name of woman pilot Nadezhda Savchenko, currently facing trial in Russia on charges of complicity in the death of Russian journalists in Ukraine.

Batkivschchina’s breakaway group, including Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk, parliamentary speaker Aleksandr Turchinov and Interior Minister Arsen Avakov, has founded a new party calling itself Popular Front and proposed a list of candidates it presents as “revolutionaries” - those who at the beginning of this year spearheaded the street demonstrations in Kiev in support of euro-integration and toppled former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich.

Candidates from the Radical Party of Oleg Lyashko, a legislator notorious for his ultra-nationalist escapades and rowdy manners such as manhandling journalists, are assorted and controversial - there are those who participated in the crackdown on defiant southeastern regions, volunteers from military hospitals, former political prisoners and high-profile athletes.

The former ruling party - the Party of Regions - decided against participation in the election.

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