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Exchange of views with Russian parliament representatives on co-operation with PACE

"Since my election as President, in January 2016, I have invested time and efforts to maintain dialogue with the Russian Parliament because we are an Assembly of 47, not 46," PACE President Pedro Agramunt said today after an exchange of views with representatives of the Russian Parliament on modalities of co-operation between PACE and the Russian Parliament in 2017.

"Maintaining dialogue is important because it is only through dialogue that we can move forward together and – hopefully – resolve the disagreements that divide us, focusing on what unites us – the aims and objectives, values and standards of the Council of Europe," he stressed.

"Today’s exchange of views is the result of several steps the Assembly and the Russian Parliament have taken including high-level meetings in Moscow and St Petersburg, in particular, on the margins of the plenary sessions of the CIS Assembly and PABSEC. It is another step on the road that – I hope – will lead to a situation where parliamentary delegations from all 47 member states will be able to work together within the Parliamentary Assembly. I am grateful to our Russian colleagues for their open and frank approach," Mr Agramunt added.

We have listened to our colleagues from the Russian Parliament and their concerns about the rules restricting the powers of Delegation and that these need to be changed. We have heard different views on this and a range of rule of law and human rights issues, including the origin of the problems and respect of territorial integrity of Ukraine and the ongoing conflict in the Eastern part of Ukraine.

"We should continue and deepen further our dialogue, and the next opportunity to do so will be the plenary session of the CIS Inter-parliamentary Assembly which will be held in St Petersburg on 27 March 2017. I am looking forward to attending this event. Moreover, as you may know, the Assembly’s Committee on Political Affairs established a Sub-Committee which will participate in the CIS Assembly meetings," the PACE President concluded.