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Russian lawmaker says PACE observers not expected for September parliamentary election

February 24, 11:31 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Russian lower parliamentary house speaker Sergey Naryshkin noted PACE expects transfers of Russian contribution payments in full "as if nothing had happened"
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MOSCOW, February 23. /TASS/. Speaker of the Russian State Duma Sergey Naryshkin said that "nobody is waiting for" observers from the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) at the parliamentary elections scheduled for this September.

"Record lengthy absence in the session hall of one of the most representative delegations - ours - has become a novelty in the 67-year history of PACE," Naryshkin, the lower parliamentary house speaker, wrote in the article the Rossiyskaya Gazeta daily publishes on Wednesday.

"Although, it does not stop PACE members to expect transfers of Russian contribution payments in full as if nothing had happened and to prepare observers for monitoring our September election [to the State Duma] but nobody is waiting for them here," he said. "It is not a secret for us what ideas they have coming here." 

The Russian parliamentary speaker pointed out that the processes inside PACE linked to relations with Russia were "manually controlled from across the ocean."

"We know in detail the methods the ‘tame’ Assembly ruled from across the ocean uses," he went on to say.

"Nothing new can be seen in the presentation of bureaucratic subterfuges as the will of member countries, in the resolutions written to overseers’ dictation and not based on any law, in the substitution of honest debates by those primitive papers and in the ignoring of judicial facts (including interpretation of the modern Ukrainian legislation in our monitoring) and finally in never ceasing distortions of the charter goals of the Council of Europe," Naryshkin said.

Naryshkin calls "to stop looking for an enemy where there is none" and "direct eyes in the direction from where a threat to universal human values is approaching." 

"As our country is saving the world from terror, the EU countries come to understanding how important the dialog with Russia may be on migration and economy," he said. "So the PACE desire to be occupied with fanciful problems rather than with real ones can just raise eyebrows."

"And this happens at the time when Russia has been collaborating over the past two years with the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly [our delegation is participating in its tomorrow session in Vienna] along with the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and all the other parliamentary associations," the Russian parliamentary speaker said in conclusion.

Russia’s delegation at PACE was deprived of the right to vote and take part in the PACE charter bodies and monitoring activities in April 2014 following Crimea’s reunification with Russia and developments in Ukraine. In June 2015, a PACE session extended the Russian delegation’s mandate but did not lift the anti-Russian sanctions. The Russian delegation has been skipping PACE sessions in protest against the sanctions.

In January, Russia refused to file a request to approve the powers of its delegation in 2016 and Naryshkin said Moscow would transfer a third of an annual contribution payment to the Council of Europe.

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