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Pushkov: lawmakers from five countries likely to discuss Ukraine crisis in March

February 20, 2015, 23:06 UTC+3
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MOSCOW, February 20. /TASS/. Lawmakers of Russia, Ukraine, Serbia, Switzerland and Germany may meet for discussing the Ukraine crisis in Copenhagen in March, following a proposal of President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE PA) Ilkka Kanerva, head of the Russian State Duma’s committee on foreign affairs Aleksey Pushkov told TASS on Friday.

Pushkov said that the issue was on the table of talks held by heads of the Russian and Ukrainian delegations behind closed doors on the sidelines of the OSCE PA session in Vienna.

"The sides discussed when the inter-parliamentary group on Ukraine would start its work," he said. "It had been established at the PA's previous session in [Azerbaijan’s capital] Baku but has failed to convene since then as the Ukrainian side has objected to the start of its work,"

"During the conversation we reached an agreement that Russia and Ukraine would regard a possibility of participation in a five-party working meeting - also including Serbia, Switzerland and Germany - in Copenhagen where the OSCE PA headquarters is located," Pushkov said.

Kanerva is due to step forward as the meeting’s organiser and to appeal to the speakers of those five countries with an address, Pushkov said.

Possible participation of three other countries in the discussion is linked to the fact that Serbia is holding a term of the OSCE's rotating chairmanship, Switzerland was a previous one and Germany is to take the chair in the organisation next in line.

When asked by TASS at which level the meeting was to be held if it took place, Pushkov replied that "Russia reiterated it would be ready to participate at the level of State Duma’s speaker."

Along with this, Pushkov said that Moscow would proceed from the level of other participating countries.

"If it is of a different level, we will regard the level of our participation in the context of compositions of the delegations other states will send," he said.

Speaking about dates, the Russian MP said that "the sides are negotiating a possibility to hold it before mid-March."

"If the sides take part at the level of speakers, schedules should be coordinated and acceptable dates agreed - in case participation is confirmed - as the Ukrainian side has been blocking the start of the group’s work /OSCE PA inter-parliamentary contact group/," Pushkov said.

"Now [the Ukrainian side] said that they were prepared to consider this possibility," he said. "We have confirmed our readiness to participate and will await the final answer from Kiev and other capitals".

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