PARIS, February 28. /TASS/. President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) Rik Daems expressed interest in long-term cooperation with Russia in his message on occasion of the 25th anniversary of Russia’s joining the Council of Europe.
"As President of the Assembly, on this 25th anniversary I wish more years of cooperation and solidarity with the Russian Federation and its citizens," Daems stressed, noting that "parliamentary diplomacy is a cornerstone of cooperation around our common interests and our shared values."
"In the true spirit of parliamentary dialogue Russia’s participation and contribution to the work and activities of our Parliamentary Assembly is one based on the respect for equality and diversity, constructive criticism and concern for the security and well-being of the citizens," he said, noting that the Parliamentary Assembly constitutes "the most important pan-European platform for political dialogue."
"This is an important day for our fellow Russian citizens and European family of the Council of Europe. By joining our common European home, the Russian Federation as all of our member-states pledged to uphold and promote the fundamental principles and values, which underpin modern European architecture," Daems stated. "It is only by working together, on an equal footing with no double standards that we can find sustainable solutions to the growing challenges we all face," Daems said.
Earlier, Russia’s Permanent Representative to the Council of Europe Ivan Soltanovsky told TASS that Daems, who paid a brief visit to Moscow in December 2020, was planning to come back to Russia in the near future.
Back on February 28, 1996 in Strasbourg, former Russia’s top diplomat Evgeny Primakov and former CoE’s Secretary General Daniel Tarshis signed documents on Russia’s accession to Europe’s oldest intergovernmental organization. Russia is engaged in the work of the Council of Ministers, the Parliamentary Assembly and other bodies of the CoE.