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Russia to promote creating parliamentary dimension within BRICS — Duma speaker

February 27, 2015, 13:39 UTC+3 NEW DELHI
A number of events will be organized in this context, including a parliamentary forum which is planned to be held in Moscow at the beginning of June
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© Anna Isakova/Russian State Duma Press Service/TASS

NEW DELHI, February 27. /TASS/. Russia will raise an issue of creating a parliamentary dimension within BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) in the framework of Russia’s presidency in the association in 2016, Russian State Duma Speaker Sergey Naryshkin said on Friday at a roundtable on Russian-Indian cooperation in the framework of BRICS.

"In the framework of Russia’s presidency [in BRICS in 2016], we want to promote the parliamentary dimension of BRICS. We extensively and openly discussed it with our colleagues from both chambers of the Indian parliament," Naryshkin stressed.

"A number of events will be organized in this context, including a parliamentary forum which is planned to be held in Moscow at the beginning of June. We will discuss the role of parliamentarians in the development of BRICS," the speaker noted.

Naryshkin started his official visit to India on Thursday. According to Duma’s Department for Public Relations and Mass Media, Naryshkin will meet with Indian President Pranab Mukherjee, Lok Sabha (lower house of the Indian parliament) Speaker Sumitra Mahajan and Indian Vice-President Mohammad Hamid Ansari. Naryshkin will also participate in the third session of the Russian-Indian parliamentary commission.

State Duma’s International Affairs Committee chairman Alexey Pushkov, who is part of the Russian delegation, told journalists that cooperation in the framework of BRICS has intensified lately. The institute of RIC (Russia, India and China) has also been actively developing, Pushkov said. "It is logical to add the parliamentary dimension to it, as in the framework of BRICS, India, as well as Russia, speaks for restructuring the global financial system, for reforming international institutes, including, in the future, reforming the UN Security Council," Pushkov added.

"Inter-parliamentary dialogue in the conditions of such close cooperation on strategic issues is quite appropriate," he said. "We will establish and develop the inter-parliamentary direction in the framework of multi-party BRICS format, as well as RIC format," Pushkov noted.

Developing inter-parliamentary ties with Germany

On February 19, Russia’s Federation Council International Affairs Committee chairman Konstantin Kosachev expressed support for developing bilateral inter-parliamentary ties with Bundestag (lower chamber of German parliament) and Bundesrat (upper chamber).

Interests of Russia and Germany are not contradictory in the pan-European context, Kosachev said at a meeting with Norbert Roettgen, chairman of the Bundestag's Committee on Foreign Affairs.

Most differences in the positions of Russia and Germany are connected with the fact that the sides rely on different sources of information, Kosachev stressed.

"Most of our differences and disagreements are based not on professing different values but on assessing differently the current situation because we rely on different sources of information. Secondly, we possibly pursue different interests," the lawmaker noted.

The first issue can be "adjusted" by relying on objective sources, while the second needs detailed discussions, he added. "Interests of Russia and Germany are not contradictory in the pan-European context, in our estimation," Kosachev said.

"Any inter-parliamentary contacts are crucial now," taking into consideration the complicated situation in and around Ukraine, Kosachev noted. The lawmaker also praised Germany’s role in the Minsk process.

Developing inter-parliamentary contacts with the US

On February 17, Russia’s Federation Council (FC) called for facilitating inter-parliamentary contacts between Russia and the US, Kosachev said after a meeting with US Ambassador to Russia John Tefft.

A corresponding request was sent to US Senate, Kosachev noted. "During the meeting [with Tefft], I spoke in favor of restoring and subsequently facilitating inter-parliamentary contacts. I also informed [Tefft] that I have already sent a letter to Senator [Bob] Corker, notifying him about my new position as an FC International Affairs Committee head and proposing to facilitate inter-parliamentary contacts," he said.

"I sent similar proposals to colleagues in other countries. I have already received positive answers from some of them in the east, as well as in the west. I hope that today’s meeting with Ambassador [Tefft] will also facilitate the development of inter-parliamentary contacts," Kosachev said.

"We understand that [US] senators, our colleagues, have an absolutely biased view of what is happening in Ukraine," he stressed. "However, we are ready to facilitate such contacts on the basis of equality and respect to each other’s interests, without forcing one’s will on one another," Kosachev concluded.

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