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PACE to create a ‘contact platform’ for dialogue with representatives of Russian democratic opposition forces

Dialogue with representatives of Russian democratic opposition forces

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) is to create a “recurring contact platform” for dialogue with representatives of Russian democratic opposition forces who share Council of Europe values, fully respect Ukraine’s territorial integrity and condemn Russia’s war of aggression.

Ending a public meeting today with a group of such representatives, held on the margins of PACE’s autumn plenary session in Strasbourg, PACE President Tiny Kox said the new platform would help to develop proposals and generate ideas for the future democratic transformation of Russia “in such a way that the country no longer poses a threat to its neighbours and to international law, as well as to its citizens”.

The ultimate shared aim was to achieve a sustainable peace for Ukraine, restore its territorial integrity and ensure Russia’s full accountability for its war crimes and aggression, he said.

The platform would also “send a signal to those courageous Russians who share our values […] that they are not abandoned, and they can count on our support”, he added.

Participants in the meeting, a joint hearing of the Assembly’s Political Affairs, Legal and Human Rights and Migration Committees, heard from:

Natalia Arno, President of the Free Russia Foundation

Gennady Gudkov, former Deputy of the State Duma, Chairman of “For a Free Russia”

Sergei Guriev, Russian Anti-War Committee, True Russia Project

Evgenia Kara-Murza, wife of jailed Russian opposition leader and 2022 Václav Havel Prize laureate Vladimir Kara-Murza

Mikhail Khodorkovsky, Russian Anti-War Committee, Russian Action Committee (by video)

Ekaterina Shulman, political scientist, academic and commentator

Sergey Aleksashenko, Russian Anti-War Committee

Vladimir Milov, Free Russia Foundation