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US Senator considers it necessary to maintain dialogue with Russia despite the sanctions

May 07, 2014, 8:12 UTC+3 WASHINGTON
American Senator Benjamin Cardin expects to see Russian counterparts in Azerbaijan where an OSCE Parliamentary Assembly session is due to be held in July
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© EPA/ASTRID RIECKEN

WASHINGTON, May 07. /ITAR-TASS/. Influenial American Senator Benjamin Cardin told ITAR-TASS in an interview that he considers it necessary to maintain dialogue with Russian parliamentarians despite the sanctions applied against a number of members of the Federation Council and State Duma upper and lower houses of the Russian parliament.

In the US Congress, Mr. Cardin is heading the Helsinki Commission.

It is always a good thing to maintain direct contacts, he said, pointing out that he expects to see Russian counterparts in Azerbaijan where an OSCE Parliamentary Assembly session is due to be held in July, and hold separate bilateral meetings with them.

The USA had earlier applied sanctions against a number of Russia's officials, among them parliamentarians involved in the elaboration and pursuance of the Russian policy with regard to Ukraine. The sanctions list includes Federation Council Speaker Valentina Matviyenko and State Duma Speaker Sergei Naryshkin.

The US Senator was asked what specifically must be done by the two countries to stop the deterioration of relations between the USA and Russia, the relations that have gone down to the lowest ebb over the past decades.

In his answer Mr. Cardin said that he personally stands for an improvement of relations with Russia. "We (the two countries) really have much in common. Russia is a great country. However, if one takes, for example, the human rights situation, for which the USA criticizes Russia, those standards, frankly speaking, have not been established by us. Those are international standards.... We can work together with Russia on Iran and Syria, but its (Russia's) position in the world arena will only grow stronger if the rights of citizens are protected," Mr. Cardin pointed out.

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