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Russian parliament speaker hopes West will stop using Crimea as cause for confrontation

February 05, 2015, 12:18 UTC+3 YALTA

Russian parliament's lower house speaker said the current tensions in Europe are fuelled by an aggressive Western propaganda and an information blockade

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Russia’s lower house speaker Sergey Naryshkin

Russia’s lower house speaker Sergey Naryshkin

© Alexandr Shalgin/Russia's parliament press service/TASS

YALTA, February 5. /TASS/. Russian parliamentary lower house Speaker Sergey Naryshkin said on Thursday he wishes the West would sooner or later stop using Crimea as a cause for confrontation.

Naryshkin made his comments during an international scientific conference at the Livadia palace outside Yalta, in Crimea. The symposium entitled ‘Yalta-45: the Past, the Present, and the Future’ is dedicated to the 70th anniversary of the landmark Yalta Conference, which brought together the leaders of the anti-Hitler coalition Joseph Stalin, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Winston Churchill to discuss the shape of the world after World War Two.

"I hope that international discussions like the one here, at the Livadia palace, will contribute to a better mutual understanding. And our Western partners will finally stop using Russian Crimea as a cause for confrontation and will regard its residents as free people responsible for their choices and entitled to determine their future and the fate of their homeland," Naryshkin said.

"Attempts to discriminate millions of people for political reasons look like a dead-end road violating not only the letter and spirit of the international law but also Europe’s humanist ideals," he added.

Naryshkin said only an open and fair dialogue could bring the current "spiral of mistrust" in Europe to an end.

"The only way out of this spiral of mistrust is to launch an open and fair dialogue on the true pressing problems and real rather than alleged threats to European security and also stop provocations and unilateral actions ordered by the US," the State Duma chairman said.

PACE’s January session disgrace to European democracy

The lawmaker said January’s session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe will go down in history as a disgrace to European democracy.

On January 28, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) decided to extend the sanctions imposed on the Russian delegation during the spring session and deprived it of the right to vote and participate in the PACE leading bodies until April. After that, the Russian delegation suspended its work at PACE till the end of 2015.

Sergey Naryshkin earlier said that the Crimean issue was used as pretext to strip the Russian delegation of the right to vote.

“The point, of course, is not only in the Republic of Crimea,” Naryshkin said in an interview to the Kommersant daily, answering whether Russia’s deprivation of PACE vote was a response to Crimea's reunification with Russia. The State Duma speaker said that prior to that Chechnya was this excuse when Russia was accused of the Chechen developments that took place the 1990s, and other excuses emerged after constitutional order was restored in the North Caucasian republic.

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