Vyacheslav Victorovich The Chairman of the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation of the eighth convocation. Elected in single mandate constituency № 163 (Saratov constituency - Saratov Oblast) and Jean-René Fournier discussed the situation in Georgia and Ukraine. The Chairman of the State Duma thanked the President of the Council of States of the Federal Assembly of the Swiss Confederation for a dialogue.
“We are grateful and, moreover, we believe that Switzerland does a lot to make this dialogue possible,” Viacheslav Volodin emphasized.
The situation in Ukraine
“Switzerland considers Russia a very important player in international politics. It is impossible to engage in foreign policy without listening to Russia, without listening to its point of view,” said Jean-René Fournier.
Speaking about the situation in Ukraine, he noted that it is necessary “first of all, to congratulate everyone on the exchange of prisoners. This is a very important and very positive moment.” “I am very glad that the Steinmeier Formula was adopted,” the politician added.
According to Jean-René Fournier, the election of the new President, Vladimir Zelensky, in Ukraine “gives additional pretty good chances to change Ukraine’s attitude to Russia.” “We need to support the aim of new leadership to restore peace,” he added.
The President of the Council of States of the Federal Assembly of the Swiss Confederation informed the Chairman of the State Duma that he also discussed the situation in Ukraine with Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia Kirill.
“Why couldn’t the situation on the Ukrainian issue be resolved earlier? We must admit that the former President of Ukraine, Mr. Poroshenko, behaved absolutely destructively and did not take any steps to resolve this situation. This was absolutely the fault of the Ukrainian leadership. It must be admitted that his policy threw Europe, European countries, including Russia, back. All his actions led to the fact that there was bigger mistrust, more conflicts between us,” said Viacheslav Volodin.
Jean-René Fournier agreed with Viacheslav Volodin, saying that ”it must be admitted that the position of previous President Petr was destructive.“ At the same time, the President of the Council of States of the Federal Assembly of the Swiss Confederation noted that Petr Poroshenko managed to unite 74% of the Ukrainian population against his policy.
“Let's admit that the previous leadership was destructive. Moreover, it created big problems for Europe,” Viacheslav Volodin emphasized. According to him, Russia was always ready to help a peaceful settlement in Ukraine, but ‘without Ukrainian authorities’ decisions it was impossible to do anything.“
The situation in Georgia
During the meeting, serious attention was paid to relations between Russia and Georgia, since Switzerland represents the interests of the Russian Federation in this country. “This is a mission, which we approach very responsibly and it is a great honor that we have been entrusted with it,” said Jean-René Fournier.
The President of the Council of States of the Federal Assembly of the Swiss Confederation asked the Chairman of the State Duma why the decision was made to cancel the air communication between Russia and Georgia. “The decision allowed the minority, which does not carry a good attitude towards Russia in their hearts, to strengthen,” said Jean-René Fournier.
Viacheslav Volodin spoke in detail about the situation. He reminded that a delegation of Russian parliamentarians arrived in Tbilisi at the invitation of the Georgian side to participate in the Inter-Parliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy, but it was attacked by Georgian radicals.
“As for air communication, this solution was one of the minimum required actions in such situation. The position of the State Duma members, representatives of the people of the Russian Federation, was to ensure not only understanding of all these matters, but to restore justice,” said Viacheslav Volodin, adding that “we insisted on the ban on importing Georgian wine into our country.”
“We believe that it is necessary to prohibit the transfer of funds to Georgia,” he added.
“But President Vladimir Putin gave a chance. He gave a chance to Georgia, the Georgian people, to improve the situation. The only thing left is the ban on air communications,” Viacheslav Volodin emphasized.
In his opinion, “first of all, the President of Georgia must apologize to the citizens of Russia and our country, because in this situation it was the Georgian leadership who was responsible for holding the Inter-Parliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy and for the whole situation that happened then.”
He urged Jean-René Fournier and his Swiss colleagues to bring this information to the Georgian representatives.
“A lot depends on you as a country that provides opportunities [for a dialogue] and represents the interests of the Russian Federation in Georgia. We have something to talk about, and we count on your support and help in these matters,” Viacheslav Volodin said during the meeting.
Development of bilateral relations
Jean-René Fournier and Viacheslav Volodin discussed issues of strengthening of bilateral relations between Russia and Switzerland.
“Our trade turnover has grown by more than 20% in two years. We had a discussion with my colleague, President of the Council of States of the Federal Assembly, and he believes that we have the same opinion that we need to hold joint events within the parliamentary dimension to exchange not only delegations, but also to gather business representatives and discuss legislative decisions and that would help to develop our relations more efficiently,” said Viacheslav Volodin.
According to him, in particular, these decisions should help to create more comfortable conditions for the work of the business community.
“As for our relations with Russia, I am very pleased to note an increase in both imports and exports. These numbers have really grown recently, it is very good,” agreed Jean-René Fournier.
At the end of the meeting, the Chairman of the State Duma invited the President of the Council of States of the Federal Assembly of the Swiss Confederation to come to our country again and, in particular, to visit Saratov Region, where Viacheslav Volodin was born.