Viacheslav Volodin reminded that after having been deprived of the right to vote for several years for strained political reasons the Russian delegation returned to work in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe for the spring session.
At the same time, he stressed that difficulties in the work of the PACE still remain, and it would be wrong to say that the future of the Russian delegation there will be “trouble-free”.
“There are a lot of political aspects in the work of PACE, a lot of what PACE absorbed during the Cold War years and can’t part with these rudiments. As an example, the monitoring system,” said Viacheslav Volodin.
He noted that “today in the modern world, PACE offers to monitor countries that are members of the Council of Europe, countries that are equal and have completely different culture and history, traditions and different forms of democracy. They take patterns, which, perhaps, even correspond to some progressive countries, and evaluate other states using them. It is unacceptable“.
“Such approaches should leave the PACE practice as soon as possible, and we all together could take part in the work of this structure with the understanding that its goal is to build an effective communication model based on understandable principles, absence of double standards, non-interference in the sovereign affairs of other states and the desire to achieve peace and prosperity in this large European home,” said the Chairman of the State Duma.
He also stated that it is unfair to demand payment of contributions to PACE from Russia for the years when our country was deprived of the right to vote: “It is not very clear when voices to pay contributions for the period when our delegation did not participate in the work of the Parliamentary Assembly are heard in PACE today. It is not a question of money but justice.”
“Look who raises these questions. First of all, it is who pays the smallest contributions, this question is raised by those who initiated the deprivation of the right to vote of the Russian delegation, and today they say: the Russian delegation should pay for the time when it did not take part in the PACE’s work though it was not their fault,” added Viacheslav Volodin, stressing that he considers it is unacceptable to ask to pay contributions for the period when the Russian delegation did not take part in the work of the PACE, did not participate in elections of judges of the European Court of Human Rights, Commissioner for Human Rights and in discussion of a number of other important issues.
“And now they say: yes, you did not participate, yes, you were deprived of the right to vote, but you need to pay. Where is there justice? There is no,” said the Chairman of the State Duma. “This suggests that the decision made was politically motivated. Then those who pushed for this decision should pay.“
New forms of cooperation
Speaking at the final plenary meeting of the spring session of the State Duma, Chairman Viacheslav Volodin summed up the international activities. He reminded that active work is being carried out at various platforms, forums and conferences organized by the State Duma attract more and more countries.
“It would be right to hold the International Forum “Development of Parliamentarism” annually, especially it is in demand and this is an additional opportunity to discuss the development of relations between countries,” he said
Also, according to Viacheslav Volodin, such new forms as the Conference of Speakers of Eurasian Countries’ Parliaments and the Conference of the Speakers of the Parliaments of Afghanistan, China, Iran, Pakistan, Russia and Turkey on issues of security and countering terrorism are successfully developing. The latter will be expanded, and other countries are planning to join the Conference, in particular, Iraq, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and others.
“We will be able to solve a lot of problems through such new forms of interaction. And, most importantly, we will be able to contribute to the development of relations between our countries, complementing them with a parliamentary dimension,” said the Chairman of the State Duma, stressing that “parliamentary tourism” should become a thing of the past, and inter-parliamentary platforms should be used to resolve specific issues.