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Council of Europe should probe the truth about Ukraine crisis — Russian parliament chief

November 25, 2014, 14:34 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Parliamentary lower house Speaker Sergey Naryshkin urged unbiased legal evaluation of facts behind the conflict
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© Sergey Fadeichev/TASS

MOSCOW, November 25. /TASS/. A leading Russian lawmaker has called for a Council of Europe probe into factors responsible for the crisis in Ukraine, urging "unbiased legal evaluation of facts" behind the conflict.

Parliamentary lower house Speaker Sergey Naryshkin was demanding action in comments to Russian and foreign legal experts sitting on the Venice Commission, a Council of Europe agency advising on constitutional legislation.

“Only unbiased legal evaluation of facts ... will show the truth,” said the State Duma chairman.“The crisis of trust in Europe is certainly linked with many processes but is primarily caused by the heaviest Ukrainian confrontation,” he said, noting that “Unfortunately, far from all legally significant facts of the Ukrainian crisis" had been reflected in commission assessments.

In earlier moves, Duma deputies have sought a commission ruling on whether Ukrainian parliamentary decisions are legitimate.

Reform vital or Europe's PACE under threat, Russia warns

Drastic reform is needed if the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) is to remain a force for promoting European partnership, the head of Russia's parliamentary lower house told international delegates debating crisis issues confronting the continent.

“PACE needs serious reform concerning its regulating procedures and aspects of its agenda or it will lose its role as a forum of pan-European cooperation,” warned Duma Speaker Sergey Naryshkin.

Russia's delegation had been stripped of its powers for supporting Crimea's success in gaining independence from Ukraine but no reduction had been granted in its contribution towards the organization's finance, Russia's representative said.

In April, PACE ended the Russian delegation's right to vote and suspended the country from all its governing bodies until January 2015, when the powers of all PACE delegations will be re-defined. Russia insists on full resumption of its powers.

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