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Russia’s delegation head to call for counter-terrorism cooperation at OSCE PA session

"Let’s first start cooperating in the area of fight against terror, arms smuggling and organized crime," Kovalev said, adding that these issues are beyond politics
State Duma lawmaker Nikolai Kovalev Artyom Korotayev/TASS
State Duma lawmaker Nikolai Kovalev
© Artyom Korotayev/TASS

MOSCOW, July 2. /TASS/. The head of Russia’s delegation at the session of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly in Georgia’s capital Tbilisi, State Duma lawmaker Nikolai Kovalev, has told reporters he will urge the member-states on Sunday to cooperate in order to counter international terrorism.

"Let’s first start cooperating in the area of fight against terror, arms smuggling and organized crime," Kovalev said, adding that these issues are beyond politics. "Let’s establish cooperation in this area and set up a broad anti-terrorist coalition for the sake of saving the future generations and our children," he said, reminding that Russia has been calling for this for many years.

However, the Western governments ignore Moscow’s calls for such cooperation and this became "Europe’s strategic mistake and its price was the lives of civilians," he said speaking about the June 28 airport attack in Turkey’s Istanbul.

The stance that there can be no cooperation with Russia on any issues has led to these difficult consequences, Kovalev said adding that the Western special services had 13 years to prevent this deadly terrorist attack.

He explained that Ahmed Chatayev, a Chechen man believed to be the organizer of Istanbul’s terrorist attack, has been on Russia’s wanted list for 13 years. "But it was enough for him to say that he lost his arm during torture and he had been granted political asylum although he lost his arm while carrying out a terrorist attack," Kovalev said.

Kovalev reminded that Chatayev received a refugee status in Austria and later he was detained in Sweden with weapons but was released. In 2010 he was detained in Ukraine and was handed over to Georgia where he was justified. "But Turkey’s special services immediately report about a Russian trace in the terrorist attack that occurred in Istanbul," he said.

"Of course, you see a hand of Moscow everywhere. But this is nonsense," he stressed. So, there was "a real possibility to prevent the terrorist attack in Istanbul and save the lives of dozens of people," Kovalev said. "But due to political considerations you refused to cooperate with Russia," he said.

Three suicide bombers blew themselves up late on June 28 at the international terminal of Istanbul’s Ataturk airport. More than 40 people, including 19 foreigners, were killed and some 240 people were injured. Investigators earlier said the attack had been carried out by the members of the Islamic State terrorist group banned in Russia.

OSCE PA to consider draft resolution against sanctions imposed on lawmakers

Kovalev also said that a permanent committee of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly has put up for consideration at the session in Georgia’s Tbilisi a draft resolution on the unimpeded access of lawmakers to international events.

"A compromise option has been proposed," said Kovalev. The document is expected to be discussed on Sunday or on Monday, he added.

The key ideas voiced by Russia have been taken into account, Kovalev said. "We support this compromise version. We had our own one, but now the work of the session is so: whatever Russia proposes is rejected although it seems to me that some issues are absolutely neutral, wise and non-political," he said.

Ukraine’s delegation "was strongly opposed to this resolution motivating this that it ‘smells like manipulation.’" "They even tried not to allow the discussion of this resolution," the lawmaker said.

Russia’s draft resolution on non-acceptance of sanctions against parliamentarians, authored by State Duma Speaker Sergey Naryshkin, was expected to be discussed at last summer’s session in Helsinki. However, Naryshkin and some his colleagues were banned entry to Finland. In response, Russia’s delegation refused to take part in the session.