STRASBOURG, January 28. /TASS/. Russia is not renouncing its obligations in the framework of international agreements, provisions of constitutional primacy can be found in many European constitutions, head of the Russian delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), Deputy Speaker of Russia’s State Duma (lower house) Pyotr Tolstoy said Tuesday at a meeting with new PACE President Hendrik Daems.
At the meeting, the officials discussed a possible amendment to the Russian constitution introducing its primacy over provisions of international agreements that was proposed by Russian President Vladimir Putin. The presidential initiative says that Russia can participate in interstate associations and transfer to them part of its powers according to international treaties which Russia is a party to if this does not involve restricting rights and freedoms of citizens and does not contradict the principles of the constitutional system. Moreover, "decisions of interstate organizations adopted based on international treaties of Russia in their interpretation that contradicts the Russian constitution cannot be enforced in Russia."
"We are witnessing blatant speculations on this topic. The proposed amendments ensure a greater role of the parliament as well as enshrine a number of social guarantees in the constitution. However, the proposal that changes the balance between national and international law drew the most attention. We hear fantasies that Russia is rejecting its obligations in the framework of international agreement as well as enforcement of ECHR [European Court on Human Rights — TASS] decisions. This is not true," Tolstoy reassured.
"A provision emerges which reads that if a decision of any international organization runs counter to the Russian constitution where there is a ruling of the Constitutional Court then this decision cannot be effective in Russia," he explained. According to the head of the Russian delegation, similar provisions can be found in legislations of Germany, the United Kingdom and other European states. "However, nobody has an issue with that," Tolstoy noted.
In addition, the Russian official informed the PACE president about the Russia-sponsored declaration on inadmissibility of revisiting the results of the Second World War. Tolstoy underlined that the topic of the 75th anniversary of World War II end is the most important for the whole humanity this year. "This event is becoming especially important and demands the closest attention in light of attempts to revisit the war results by certain countries and public organizations of Europe and in light of monuments to soldier liberators being destroyed. Therefore, the Russian delegation asked European colleagues to adopt a declaration condemning these facts. The document is supported by many national delegations of PACE members," he pointed out.
Tolstoy also extended an official invitation to Daems to pay an official visit to the Russian parliament. "I would like you to see for yourself how Russian democratic institutions operate," he concluded.