MOSCOW, December 18. /TASS/. Russia’s State Duma (lower house) Council has taken a decision to include Speaker Sergey Naryshkin and his deputy Sergey Zhelezhnyak in the Russian delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), the lower house’s office told TASS on Thursday.
Under the regulations, Naryshkin, as a permanent member of the delegation, will be able to take part in the upcoming PACE session in January due to be devoted to the return of Russia’s powers in the Assembly.
However, a State Duma official did not confirm that Naryshkin would lead the Russian delegation at the PACE session in January. “This will be decided later,” he said.
Zhelezhnyak said Russian-EU relations could not be considered easy in the outgoing year.
“The situation is not only caused by the unwillingness of European colleagues to perceive Russia’s position on Ukraine and the reunification of Crimea and Sevastopol with Russia,” he said.
“Despite the pressure, our country continues to urge the international community to stop the use of force for settling the conflict with the people of Novorossia,” Zhelezhnyak said.
“We should hold the dialogue, which is indispensable to ensure global peace,” he said, adding that the West “is searching for possibilities to reduce sanctions and start cooperation”.
“It is obvious that it is impossible to cope with such troubles as international terrorism, epidemics and the economic and social chaos in Ukraine without Russia,” Zhelezhnyak said.
In April, following Crimea's accession to Russia, PACE deprived the Russian delegation of the right to vote at assembly sessions. Russia was removed from the group's leading posts and banned from participation in its observation missions. Following this move, Russia's delegation suspended its work in the assembly until the end of the year.