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MOSCOW, April 27. /TASS/. Moscow stresses the importance of closer cooperation with the Council of Europe, the Russian foreign ministry said on Monday after a meeting of the Russian commission for the affairs of the Council of Europe led by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
Members of the commission discussed "Russia’s further policy at the Council of Europe with due account of the development of the international situation," the ministry said. "They also discussed topical issues of Russia’s cooperation with the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), and the activity of the European Commission for Democracy through Law (Venice Commission) aiming at offering expert assistance to a reform of Ukraine’s constitutional and legal system in line with the norms and standards of the Council of Europe."
"The commission stressed the importance of scaling up efforts towards closer cooperation with the Council of Europe, especially in those areas where our participation brings about obvious ‘added value’ and makes it possible to share Russia’s positive experience with European partners," the ministry said. "The commission stressed the necessity to continue the reform of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR)."
Participants in the meeting discussed a wide range of issues "of sectoral cooperation between Russia and the Council of Europe, including the activity of Russia’s human rights ombudsman and the work towards Russia’s joining the legal framework of the Council of Europe," the ministry said. "Special attention was focused on preparations for the 20th anniversary of Russia’s membership in the Council of Europe to be marked in 2016."