on Russia were held on October 1 at a meeting of the PACE Monitoring Committee,
as part of the preparation of a review report on the implementation of the obligations of the Russian Federation to the Council of Europe. They were
initiated by the head of the Commission Roger Gale (the United Kingdom) and, as Leonid Slutskiy
Leonid Eduardoviсh stressed, “had a deliberately provocative goal — to show not in a positive light the state of civil society in our country”. “However (I will make a remark) this could not be done”, the Chairman of the Committee on International Affairs said.
“The Commission invited Russian experts to the hearing: Leonid Volkov, associate of Alexei Navalny, leader of Yabloko party Emilia Slabunova, opposition politician Vladimir Kara-Murza, Memorial lawyer Tatyana Glushkova. The rhetoric was tough and as expected the events in Russia were highly politicized”, the parliamentarian stressed.
“At the same time, we (members of the Russian delegation to PACE Leonid Slutskiy and Sergey Kislyak – editor’s note) managed to win their arguments by saying that the so-called experts represent a rather narrow segment of civil society and do not reflect the interests of the majority of the electorate. This, in fact, is also proven by the results of all recent election campaigns in the Russian Federation”, Leonid Slutskiy said.
“Many of the participants in the hearings agreed that the monitoring rapporteurs, who are expected to visit Russia in October, should show a true picture. We are ready to receive them more than once to provide full opportunity to explore all Russian realities in as many details as possible. The delegation of the Russian Federation has returned to PACE including for that very reason. The European community should not learn what is happening in our country only from funhouse mirrors”, the Chairman of the Committee on International Affairs concluded.