The process of making changes, which Russia insists is already running
Photo: Getty Images/Anadolu Agency
European parliamentarians — members of the parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) is collecting signatures under the draft amendments to the organization regulations, which prohibit suspend the voting rights of national delegations. This “Izvestia” said the Vice-speaker of the state Duma Pyotr Tolstoy. The adoption of such standards is a mandatory condition for Russia to return to work in PACE. The Chairman of the organization, Pedro Agramunt, during a visit to St. Petersburg has already expressed the hope that before the end of his term, Russia will be back to work in the European parliamentary Assembly in the full format.
The head of PACE Pedro Agramunt visited St. Petersburg with an unofficial visit. In the framework of the forum of the CSTO PA, he met with state Duma speaker Vyacheslav Volodin, discussed the topic of combating terrorism, drug trafficking and migration problems. At the initiative of Agramunt, the parties agreed on holding a joint conference on these topics.
— We are facing the most important challenges facing our continent. In particular, we are talking about the terrorist threat, immigration policy, and the problem of the erosion of the principles of our democratic institutions and the growing trends of anticonstitutionalist and populism — said Agramunt.
— We agree that it is necessary to shape the European response to the challenges facing Europe. No country can effectively respond to these challenges on their own, so we need to work together.
He noted that it is impossible to underestimate the synergistic potential of interaction between the parliamentary Assembly and stressed that in addition to meetings with representatives of the CSTO PA and CIS PA, he met with representatives of the parliamentary delegations of the countries — participants of the CIS. Agramunt also reminded about the positive results of the exchange of views which took place in Madrid at the meeting of the standing Committee of the PACE. This meeting was also attended by Russian parliamentarians, however, until the understanding could not find all issues.
I can’t say that in Madrid we have shown complete unanimity, he said. — The most difficult question, in particular linked to the conflict in Ukraine, it continues to be a bone of contention between PACE and the State Duma of the Russian Federation.
We will remind, the Russian delegation in April 2014 was stripped to the PACE of the main powers in connection with events in Ukraine and the reunification of the Crimea with Russia. Now representatives of the Russian Federation may not vote, participate in the work of the governing bodies of the Assembly and its monitoring missions to observe elections in the space of the Council of Europe. Russia did not participate in PACE in 2016 and has not applied for participation in 2017. Officially, Moscow has repeatedly stated that he would return to work at the PACE only after the amendments to the regulations of the organization that will establish a prohibition on the deprivation of voting rights of all national delegations.
In response to the question about in what stage is the discussion of amendments to the rules of the PACE in which the Russian side insists on, Agramunt said that it was not the topic of the meeting with the head of the CSTO parliamentary Assembly, state Duma speaker Vyacheslav Volodin.
— This topic is not the subject of our conversation, he stressed. — I really heard talking about it, but nothing more to say I can not add.
Vice-speaker of the state Duma Pyotr Tolstoy said the “news” that Russia still does not plan to return to work at PACE without a corresponding change of the rules of the organization, but stressed that the adoption of such amendments exclusively the competence of the European Parliament. According to Tolstoy, many have called for regulation change.
— It is their decision. Russia can not participate, because now she does not participate in the work of PACE, he said.
Colon said that running changes, you must first collect signatures of members of the PACE under the draft amendments, designed for inclusion in the regulations.
— The procedure is as follows: signatures are collected, and then the question proposed for discussion during the plenary session of PACE, — said the interlocutor of “Izvestia”. — Agramunt as a President cannot, I think, to comment on this situation, because the signatures are collected parliamentarians. I know that many PACE members have already put their signatures under the draft amendment to the rules of procedure of the parliamentary Assembly. For example, I spoke with representatives of the Parliament of Serbia — all PACE members from Serbia was signed.
The Vice-speaker underlined that if amendments to the regulations are not made, Russia will continue the dialogue with PACE already found in informal settings. He noted that in case of change of regulations of the Russian Federation can technically submit a request to the delegation to work at the PACE and return to it at any time.