Russian MPs are looking for an alternative PACE

Russian MPs are looking for an alternative PACE

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Senators and deputies are sent to the Assembly of the inter-Parliamentary Union in Geneva

Photo: TASS/Zuma/Elyxandro Cegarra

Growing anti-Russian rhetoric in the parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) pushed the Russian Parliament to take a more active search for new international sites. One of them was the inter-parliamentary Union (IPU), which includes more than 140 countries. As expected, in his session (it will be held in late October in the headquarters of the IPU in Geneva) will attend a joint delegation of senators and deputies of the state Duma led by speaker of the Federation Council Valentina Matvienko. One of the issues will be holding a session of the IPU in Saint-Petersburg.

As told “Izvestia” Chairman of the Federation Council Committee on international Affairs Konstantin Kosachev, who was elected to the Executive Committee of the IPU, in terms of the injection of anti-Russian sentiments in the European parliamentary assemblies of the Russian senators and deputies are looking for areas where there are no sanctions as a tool of influence on opponents.

In this sense, MPs is one of the most promising sites. Because there is, on the one hand, no one group of States has no majority. On the other — there is no United States of America who are always trying to bend the will of all the rest, — told “Izvestia” Kosachev. — This does not mean that in their absence we are doing the same, but it means that the Americans do not interfere with the normal operation of a particular Assembly. It suits us, — said the Senator.

The inter-parliamentary Union is the oldest international organization in the world, it was established in 1889. Currently, it includes the parliaments of more than 160 countries (including Russia and excluding the USA), ten associations have associate member status. The IPU is an informal parliamentary dimension of the United Nations.

For a long time, the Russian side has not been very active in the activities of the inter-Parliamentary Union. Now, however, interest in this organization has grown significantly.

— We learn to use the mechanism of inter-Parliamentary Union to defend their interests in the international arena. This multi-polarity and diversity of the world. We’re not trying to make MPs a tool of Russia, that would be by definition wrong, — said Konstantin Kosachev.

To search for new international parliamentary platforms of the Russian side is pushing the situation in PACE, where the powers of the Russian delegation suspended since April 2014. In response to the anti-Russian resolution adopted at the PACE autumn session on October 12, the speaker of the Federation Council Valentina Matvienko said that the Assembly itself cornered.

— If not will be soon created the conditions for the return of Russia — the full restoration of the rights of the Russian delegation, — we may lose interest in the organization, she told reporters.

Konstantin Kosachev said that for those resolutions expressed little more than half of the national delegations of member countries of the Council of Europe. For example, the resolution “the Political consequences of Russia’s aggression in Ukraine” did not vote the representatives of 20 countries, including Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Hungary, Georgia, Greece, Finland, Serbia and Ireland.

According to the head of the international Committee of SF, the problem with many parliamentary assemblies, in particular the European, — the dominance of the EU and NATO.

— I, in particular, talking about the PACE and the OSCE parliamentary Assembly, where we very clearly see the impact of these structures on the collective discipline. There all a foregone conclusion, and thus lost any sense of debate. It’s not even that we’re trying to oppose one Assembly to another. We are looking for those of the Assembly, each national delegation in the national quality, because it opens new possibilities for conversation, — said Konstantin Kosachev.

More active participation in the work of the inter-Parliamentary Union accepted at this time deputies of the State Duma, a group which was headed by the head of the Duma Committee on international Affairs Leonid Slutsky. In conversation with “Izvestia”, he said that Russia nevertheless does not consider MPs as a replacement to PACE and the OSCE PA.

— We are increasing our work in the plane of parliamentary diplomacy on all platforms, — said Leonid Slutsky.

One of the issues at the session in Geneva will be the possible meeting of MPs in Russia in 2017 in the Tauride Palace in St. Petersburg — there is located the headquarters of the Interparliamentary Assembly of the CIS States. The final decision on this matter will be taken on October 27 at the session of the IPU governing Council.