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NEW DELHI, February 26. /TASS/. Russia’s State Duma, the lower house of parliament is steering preparations for the BRICS parliamentary forum that will be held in July, Alexey Pushkov, the chairman of foreign policy committee at the Duma said on Thursday upon the end of a meeting between a group of Russian deputies led by house speaker Sergey Naryshkin and Sumitra Mahajan, the speaker of the lower house of Indian parliament.
Pushkov recalled that Russia was holding a term of rotating chairmanship in BRICS this year and that the next summit of the information association of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa would be held in the city of Ufa in western Urals.
"We’re preparing the forum on the part of the State Duma and we informed our Indian counterparts officially on it and invited them to take part," he said. "Our invitation was accepted."
"I hope a trip to Ufa is in the phase preparations and we’ll have an opportunity to adjust our agendas in the international scene," Pushkov said. "I think that’s a fair start towards our parliamentary participation in the BRICS’ official events that will be held in Russia."
"We’ll also communicate with the parliaments of South Africa and Brazil and will have contact the People’s Assembly in China to consider their participation in the parliamentary forum, which we find so important to hold," he said.
Pushkov admitted the absence of a parliamentary dimension in BRICS at the moment.
"Still we’re speaking about it for two years already and it’s time to give a practical go-ahead to it," he said. "Quite naturally, this is a new format and it may give rise to some questions because no such factor has existed in the past."
"Yet we think that the parliamentary format should be raised to a level with political relationships (among the BRICS members) since the latter are very well developed," Pushkov said.