The meeting took place in the State Duma on December 4. Rolandas Paksas also attended the opening of the plenary meeting of the State Duma. Members of the State Duma greeted their European colleague with applause.
Development of a relationship
Opening the meeting, Viacheslav Volodin
Viaсheslav Viktoroviсh The Chairman of the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation of the seventh convocation. He was elected as part of the federal list of candidates proposed by the All-Russian political party “United Russia” emphasized that the State Duma is trying to develop relations with all countries, inter-parliamentary and supra-parliamentary associations, but relations with the European Parliament ”are far from the desired.“
“We are doing everything to ensure that the parliamentary dimension is developing and our relations reinforce the development of relations between the countries. As for the European Parliament, we have to admit that they are far from the desired, and, to the extent possible, we want to get answers to a number of questions that, I won’t hide, worry us. I believe that relations should be based on understandable principles, principles of mutual respect, trust, non-interference in the affairs of sovereign states, and these basic principles allow building relationships based on respect within the framework of which we can discuss any issues,” said the Chairman of the State Duma.
“The situation with supra-parliamentary structures in Europe is far from optimal. Especially with regard to PACE, where we have not participated for the past four years,” he stressed, reminding that the Russian delegation was deprived of the right to vote. “Our position remains unchanged: we believe that such regulatory norms should be excluded from the format of the parliamentary and inter-parliamentary structures because they contradict the very spirit and principles of parliamentarism.”
“In PACE, they live either in the past, or they have come up with this norm in order to block undesirable initiatives and to silence unpleasant speeches. We believe that this is unacceptable. This question must be reviewed because it concerns all national delegations,” said Viacheslav Volodin, adding that this leads to “the deprivation of country and its people of the right to vote.”
Rolandas Paksas agreed with Viacheslav Volodin on the need to develop a dialogue, noting that ”parliamentarians should connect people.“
“In many countries, the media says that it is impossible to negotiate with the Russians. I want to prove the opposite that it is necessary, possible, and useful. And we need to talk at all levels: at the inter-parliamentary, cultural, economic, and others,” said Rolandas Paksas.
Member of the European Parliament said that ”there are politicians who want us to have a war, resistance, disorder, but people do not want it.“
As a first step in the development of relations, the Chairman of the State Duma proposed Rolandas Paksas to create an informal working group between members of the State Duma and European parliamentarians. This proposal is “timely and I am almost sure that such group will be created,” supported Rolandas Paksas the proposal of Viacheslav Volodin.
Both politicians also agreed that the work of such group could become more effective in the context of the upcoming European parliamentary elections in May 2019, which can be won by forces that are more robust and open to dialogue and cooperation.
The situation in Ukraine
During the meeting, Viacheslav Volodin paid special attention to the situation in Ukraine and the provocation in the Kerch Strait, organized by the current Kiev regime and President Petr Poroshenko.
He expressed perplexity why the Ukrainian actions still remain without a proper assessment of the European parliamentarians, PACE and OSCE.
The Chairman of the State Duma stressed that the tension that is created in the world ”should receive an assessment. We do not understand why the actions of the President of Ukraine today remain without such an assessment by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, and the European Parliament“.
“[Petr] Poroshenko put the world on the eve of war, introducing martial law and putting troops under fire and in a state of alert. He did this in order to preserve personal power. Ukraine is not in danger. But the provocation, which they implemented in our territorial waters, once again shows what steps a person, receiving Washington’s support, can take to preserve personal power. This applies primarily to us, those who live in Europe, but everyone keeps silent,” said Viacheslav Volodin.
The Chairman of the State Duma and the member of the European Parliament, the Deputy Chairman of the “Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy” group also discussed the situation with the UK decision to withdraw from the EU, and other key issues and challenges of European and world politics.
Viacheslav Volodin reminded that it is unacceptable to undermine confidence in the basic economic and financial institutions, such as banking and payment systems, just in favor of political interests. ”It is unacceptable. Trust in the basic institutions, which has been formed for decades, is declining. It is necessary to restore confidence in these institutions,” he said.
During the meeting, both sides raised the problem of the expansion of the NATO bloc and the US threats to withdraw from international disarmament treaties.
The Chairman of the State Duma said that ”a lot of countries are hostages of the United States that is building a unipolar world, including in security […] and economic matters“, noting that this leads to a rise in tension not only in Europe but also in Asia.
“These questions need to be answered, and if we start discussing them, perhaps there will be less tension, maybe at the level of parliaments, politicians, we will be able to understand each other better,” concluded Viacheslav Volodin.