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Russia seeks to revive OSCE inter-parliamentary contact group on Ukraine — lawmaker

July 02, 2015, 17:37 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The Russian delegation regretted that the work on Ukraine had not been launched yet due to being blocked by Ukraine and the US, a member of the Russian delegation to the OSCE PA says
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Leonid Slutsky

Leonid Slutsky

© ITAR-TASS/Stanislav Krasilnikov

MOSCOW, July 2. /TASS/. Russia will continue its work in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (PA OSCE) and is ready to try to bring back to life the Inter-Parliamentary Liaison Group on Ukraine that was established a year ago at the initiative of Russia’s Duma speaker Sergey Naryshkin, said Leonid Slutsky, a member of the Russian delegation to the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly and the head of the lower house committee for CIS Affairs.

"We are in favor of continuing the work in the OSCE. We continue to believe that the OSCE, as well as its Parliamentary Assembly, is the organization where efforts to normalize the situation in Ukraine, to continue the negotiation process should be concentrated," Slutsky said. He thus commented on the denial of entry by the Finnish authorities to some members of the Russian delegation, including State Duma speaker Sergey Naryshkin, who were supposed to take part in the summer session of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly in Helsinki and Russia’s subsequent response to the move.

Slutsky added that the Russian delegation regretted that the work of the PA OSCE Inter-Parliamentary Liaison Group on Ukraine had not been launched yet "due to being blocked by Ukraine and the United States." "We will try to revive this format during the session in Mongolia. We will maintain close contact with our colleagues in the OSCE," he said.

Slutsky described as "the weakness of the Finnish government" the fact that "the leaders and the part of the Russian delegation targeted by the sanctions had been denied entry to the PA OSCE jubilee session dedicated to the 40th anniversary of the signing of the 1975 Helsnki Final Act." "We see that the Helsinki factor was behind this ban rather than the OSCE factor. We will continue cooperation with the OSCE and its Parliamentary Assembly. We will be sure to take part in the next session of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly in Ulan Bator," he said.

According to Slutsky, "Russian lawmakers maintain practically daily contact with key members of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly who form part of various national delegations." "Therefore, our cooperation does not depend on our participation in the sessions, even though this denial is frustrating, of course, it casts a shadow on all political figures, including European and American, who have repeatedly called for concentrating efforts to defuse the Ukrainian crisis on the OSCE platform," he added.

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