The Chairman of the State
Duma Vyacheslav Volodin
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) noted the importance to continue building the CSTO PA work on the basis of dialogue.
“First of all, it is very important for us to develop effective solutions for the approximation and harmonization of legislation, implementation of model legislative acts and recommendations,” he said.
The Chairman of the State Duma recalled the Parliamentary Assembly was established 15 years ago. According to him, a lot has been done over the years to strengthen international and regional security, protect the territorial integrity, sovereignty of the CSTO member states, as well as to create legal conditions aimed at development of cooperation. In particular, 69 model laws, agreements and recommendations were adopted to harmonize legislation in the field of countering terrorism and extremism, organized crime, drug trafficking, corruption, as well as ensuring military-technical cooperation and providing humanitarian assistance.
Unified standards to overcome migration crises
Vyacheslav Volodin paid attention to the situation in Afghanistan, which had worsened after the US withdrawal. That is the result of the long-term political course of the Western states in the Middle East.
“Not a single state has benefited from the US international expansion. The US authorities wanted to build democracy on their own model, to impose their own standards. Today the citizens of Libya, Iraq and Syria are forced to seek asylum in other countries,” stressed the Chairman of the State Duma.
“As a result, there is a migration crisis on the border of Belarus and Poland, where several thousand refugees are trying to get into the European Union. They were promised a quiet life and higher allowances, but instead there were water cannons, tear gas, weapons used against them, and “they trample upon democratic principles and humanist values,” Vyacheslav Volodin said.
He stressed that it would be right to appeal to the European parliaments and parliamentary organizations to develop unified standards to overcome migration crises.
Situation in Belarus
Vyacheslav Volodin urged the meeting participants to take a unified stand and support Belarus, which is facing a migration crisis. The Chairman of the State Duma stressed that the CSTO PA member states should do everything possible so that refugees would not be held hostage to political decisions of the authorities of the European states.
“We need a general, systematic approach to address such situations. I propose to ask the CSTO PA Secretariat to prepare and agree on a relevant statement,” said Vyacheslav Volodin.
Improving the efficiency of the Assembly
The Chairman of the State Duma stressed that it would be right to develop solutions between the CSTO PA meetings to react to the situation more quickly. In his opinion, in particular, the videoconference mode would help in that situation.
The Chairman of the State Duma also encouraged the meeting participants to think about improving the coordination of the actions of the parliamentary delegations of the CSTO member states in international organizations.
“First of all, I mean our cooperation with the framework of the OSCE PA. It would be right to enhance our inter-parliamentary cooperation with countries and international organizations that support our principles. That would help to establish a new partner institute for the CSTO PA, as addition to the previously adopted decision on the observer institute at the Parliamentary Assembly,” he said.
He recalled that partners had deliberate functions without a vote and were able to participate in the preparation of documents and development of collective decisions. “That is of very important for enhancing international authority of the Assembly,” Vyacheslav Volodin stressed.
Model laws and issues of ratification
During the meeting, the Chairman of the State Duma proposed to develop the unified approaches related to the protection of historical memory.
“Today it is important to remember our common history events. This not only brings us together, but also gets us much closer. And we all understand that we have something that we should protect, value, and especially on the eightieth anniversary of the beginning of the Great Patriotic War,” Vyacheslav Volodin said to the parliamentarians of the CSTO member states.
In his opinion, it is necessary to include in the programme of the Organization's activities recommendations on the criminalization of acts related to attempts to rehabilitate Nazism, distorting historical truth, humiliating the honor and dignity veterans, equating the roles of the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany in World War II, as well as downplaying the important role of the humanitarian mission of the USSR during liberation of Europe.
“It is unacceptable to insult those who defended the Motherland. We need to do everything to preserve the truth about the victory of the peoples of our countries,” said Vyacheslav Volodin.
He added that one of the most important tasks of the Parliamentary Assembly should be facilitation of ratification of treaties signed by the heads of states.
Vyacheslav Volodin said that in 2021 all member states of the Organization completed the necessary procedures for four international legal acts adopted by the CSTO. According to him, 56 such agreements have entered into force. Three more were signed after the session of the Collective Security Council held in Dushanbe, and a model law “On Peacekeeping Activities and Peacekeeping Forces” was submitted for discussion and further adoption at today's plenary session.
“I want to emphasize once again: we need to implement within the framework of the parliamentary dimension all the decisions taken by the heads of our states. This is our task, and that should be our priority,” said Vyacheslav Volodin.
In addition, according to him, the CSTO PA's programme of activities on the convergence and harmonization of national legislations will include issues of ensuring sanitary-epidemiological and information security.
“Our task is to do everything to make the CSTO member states strong, independent, with steadily developing economies and social spheres, so that will help to improve the prosperity and quality of life of our citizens,” concluded the Chairman of the State Duma.
The Chairman of the House of Representatives of the National Assembly of the Republic of Belarus Vladimir Andreichenko raised the topic of depoliticizing the institution of international election observation. He drew attention to the fact that the Western states tried to use electoral issues as tools for escalating geopolitical confrontations and organizing color revolutions.
In his opinion, all those events prove the relevance of the statement on the inadmissibility of foreign interference in the electoral processes of the CSTO member states, adopted by the CSTO Council in 2021. “However, one statement is not enough. It is necessary to take a number of systemic steps aimed primarily at countering the information pressure of the West,” said Vladimir Andreichenko.
The Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress of the People's Republic of China Li Zhanshu also noted the need to form collective and universal security and develop cooperation to counter complex threats.
During the meeting, the participants also agreed to intensify in person next year. Such proposal was made by the Chairman of the Mazhilis of the Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan Nurlan Nigmatulin. “It all depends on the situation. If it does not change a lot, we should preserve the videoconference mode, we can always take advantage of this,” said Vyacheslav Volodin.
In addition, parliamentarians supported the idea of holding a round table meeting on the situation in Afghanistan. The event is planned to be held in Nur-Sultan in 2022.
The President of the National Assembly of Armenia Alain Alen Simonyan proposed to celebrate the fifteenth anniversary of the Parliamentary Assembly and to hold the jubilee session in Yerevan. In the spring of 2022, it is also planned to prepare and hold meetings of the CSTO PA Standing Commission on Political Issues and International Cooperation and of the Standing Commission on Defense and Security.
The CSTO PA member states are Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, the Kyrgyz Republic and the Russian Federation. Serbia participates as an observer state. Representatives of China, Cuba and Iran and for the first time representatives of Uzbekistan also took part in the meeting.