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Peace and development in Europe is possible only together with Russia — EU official

October 02, 2014, 20:27 UTC+3 STRASBOUG
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STRASBOUG, October 2. /TASS/. Peace and development in Europe is possible only together with Russia, believes Dr. Stefan Schennach of Austria, the chairman of the commission for monitoring at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.

He spoke to TASS in Strasbourg on Thursday.

One can close the door fast but it will be very very difficult to open its later and that is why the Council of Europe should use every opportunity which avails itself to boost political dialogue to keep the door open because Russia is a European country, Schehannackh said.

Peace and development in Europe are possible only with Russia but not against it or without it, he said.

In September, Vienna hosted a session of the PACE subcommittee for Russia. The latter body was set up in April after the introduction of sanctions against Russia and the denial of the Russian delegation’s right to vote at PACE sessions.

Stennahh recalled that the heads of the Russian delegation, Alexei Pushkov and Leonid Slutsky took part in the September session at the instruction of the delegation chairman, State Duma speaker Sergei Naryshkin.

Slutsky promised that as the chairman of the committee monitoring and the chairman of the subcommittee for eastern neighborhood policy he would do everything in his power to prevent a slide back into the era of the Cold War.

Schennach said the subcommittee was going to hold its sessions in Berlin and Athens within days and he would send out invitations to them to all the parties concerned, including Russia.

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