Russian parliamentarians seek to return to constructive work at PABSEC

Meetings of working groups and committees of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation were held today in Istanbul. Russia was represented by Chairwoman of the State Duma Committee on Development of Civil Society Olga Timofeyeva and senator Aleksey Kondratenko
PABSEC Timofeyeva

Issues related to amending PABSEC Rules of Procedure were discussed at the meeting of the working group on rules of procedure. Many amendments were only technical. The Russian representatives proposed to amend the procedure for confirming mandates of new members of national delegations. However, those amendments were not supported.

Heads of national delegations addressed representatives of national delegations at the meeting of the PABSEC Standing Committee. Parliamentarians discussed issues of joint work, expressed their opinion on the future of the organization and adopted a plan of events in connection with the forthcoming 30th anniversary of the Assembly.

“Unfortunately, there were a lot of disputes at the PABSEC meetings. They were initiated by the Ukrainians. Many other European delegations are dancing to the same tune. As a result, there is no normal work. The PABSEC does not perform its activities it was created for. We have been watching this performance since 2014, now it is the culmination. For our part, we are doing everything possible to return to a normal inter-parliamentary dialogue, to sober up our colleagues. Our main requirement remains the same — to ensure the legal powers of the whole Russian delegation,” said acting head of the Russian delegation to the PABSEC Olga Timofeyeva Timofeyeva Olga Victorovna Timofeyeva
Olga Victorovna

Since 2014, after Crimea reunited with Russia, the PABSEC refused to confirm the mandate of a member of the Russian delegation, member of the State Duma, representative of the Republic of Crimea Pavel Shperov. After the parliamentary elections held in Russia in 2021 and the renewal of the composition of the Russian delegation to the PABSEC, other Russian parliamentarians faced the same problems.

If a mandate is not confirmed, a representative is not able to vote and make decisions at the assembly.

The Russian delegation to PABSEC consists of 12 parliamentarians, but only 3 mandates have been confirmed. In this regard, Russian representatives at the meeting of the PABSEC General Assembly, held in December 2022 in Belgrade, announced the suspension of payments to the budget of the organization until the issue is resolved.

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation was established in 1993 on the initiative of Russia and Turkey. The Parliamentary Assembly consists of the parliaments of 13 states: Azerbaijan, Albania, Armenia, Bulgaria, Greece, Georgia, Moldova, North Macedonia, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Türkiye and Ukraine. Several more countries and more than a dozen inter-parliamentary organizations have observer status. The PABSEC International Secretariat is located in Istanbul in Türkiye.