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Establishing dialogue in Europe requires political will — Russian official

January 26, 2015, 20:36 UTC+3 STRASBOURG

A member of the Russian delegation to PACE says a dialogue rather than confrontation is needed in order to live through the hard period on the European continent

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Vitaly Ignatenko

Vitaly Ignatenko

© Mikhail Japaridze/TASS

STRASBOURG, January 26 /TASS/. The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) needs political will to contribute to establishing dialogue in Europe, Vitaly Ignatenko, a member of the Russian delegation to PACE, said on Monday.

“We need a dialogue rather than confrontation in order to live through this hard period on the European continent. We need patience. We need political will to conduct this dialogue,” Ignatenko, who is the first vice-chairman of the Federation Council Committee for International Affairs, and told TASS.

According to him, the discussion which is currently under way should be clear. “The guilty party should not be appointed and a prosecutor’s tone should be given up in conversation with colleagues. Then the union of parliamentary deputies will really become very fruitful and capable of resolving many problems quite successfully,” Ignatenko explained.

Russia’s dialogue with PACE was suspended at an April session last year when the assembly stripped it of voting rights until January 2015 following Crimea’s reunification with Russia, suspending its right to be represented in the assembly’s leading bodies and to participate in election-observation missions.

The PACE winter session which opened on Monday challenged the Russian delegation’s powers on the initiative of British parliamentarian Robert Walter. The question of the Russian delegation’s powers at PACE will be handed over to the PACE Monitoring Committee, which will prepare a report.

Members of PACE delegations whose powers are being challenged can temporarily take part in PACE meetings alongside other members till the Assembly passes a decision on their powers. However, they are forbidden to vote on any procedures concerning their challenged rights.

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