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HELSINKI, July 8. /TASS/. President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (PA OSCE) Ilkka Kanerva has said Thursday he hopes the organization’s relations with Russia have not changed for the worse.
"Talking about relations between PA [OSCE] and Russia, I think that there are no major problems between us. Russia does not protest against the Assembly, and [Russian authorities]promised to continue participating [in PA OSCE activity]. So this is not the correct way to pose a question," Kanerva told a press conference, answering a TASS question.
"Part of the Russian delegation did not come to Finland, but this is another political matter. It is not about relations between Russia and PA, there is a big difference," he stressed.
Kanerva said he believes "Russia will have a practical approach toward this." The PA OSCE president noted that he does not expect "any dramatic changes in relations between Russia and Finland." "And I regret what happened because it is always important to come and express your opinion. If we don’t agree with each other, it is important to hear arguments of the other party," Kanerva stressed.
On July 1, the Finnish Foreign Ministry said that Russian State Duma Speaker Sergey Naryshkin was denied entry to Finland to participate in the session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (PA OSCE) in Helsinki on July 5-9. The decision was explained by the fact that the State Duma speaker was included in EU’s "blacklist" of sanctioned officials.
Naryshkin later announced that the Russian delegation as a whole will not participate in the PA OSCE session in Helsinki, where it planned to put forward draft resolutions on impermissibility of sanctions against parliamentarians and countering Nazism rehabilitation. However, the Duma speaker confirmed that Russia plans to participate in the next PA OSCE session in Mongolia’s capital Ulan Bator.