13 Nov 2014

Kommersant Daily


Also the Duma proposed things which I could not have hoped two months ago

Maria Efimova

What are you impressions on visiting Moscow this time?

My impressions were very good. We talked for three hours in a very open and honest way together and showed each other where we think we have to improve our common understandings of the crises we face. We saw where we have to make progress to find the truth.

Which topics were at the center of the discussion?

Everything which you can imagine when you remind yourself what happened in the last 10 month between Kiev and Moscow, between Kiev and Crimea and especially what happened and stills happens in Odessa, Donetsk and Lugansk. Nothing was excluded and the different interpretations were expressed.

Have any agreements reached during the closed part of the meeting?

Yes, the majority of all participants wants to find a majority in the PACE session in January 2015 for the full credentials for the Russian delegation in PACE. And we agree, that Russia needs to be represented in the PACE, and that the PACE needs Russia in in order to realize all what we can do to protect the dignity of all 820 millions of citizens in the CoE countries.

Which new results were achieved comparing to the meeting of Mme. Brasseur and Mr. Naryshkin in September in Paris?

All leaders of the group have met now the second time (in Paris were also not the two speakers alone). And we agreed that we need to meet again for a third time before or after Christmas for instance in Vienna. This is a process, not just an event. A process where we have to deliver work, which allows the majority of the PACE to vote in favor of the credentials of the Russian delegation.

Do you see some kind of positive dynamics in the relations of Russia and PACE?

Absolutely. Also the Duma proposed things which I could not have hoped two months ago. We have a really positive dynamic and I am confident that we can progress even more.

What should we expect in January?

There will be a debate on the credentials in the PACE in the middle of the last week of January and the result is open. Today the vote would be negative, this is sure for me, although I would like to have a positive outcome.

Will the Assembly restore Russia in its key rights? To your I would say sensation. Does anyone of the deputies plan to propose the renewing of the PACE sanctions?

When nobody speaks the sanctions will be reestablished. But somebody will for sure offend this and then we have a committee examination and then a big debate and then a vote, which will be close. I am trying what I can, that this vote will be positive for the Russian delegation and the PACE as a whole.

What about the roundtable on the resolving crisis in Europe proposed by Mr. Naryshkin?

There will be a meeting of some MP's the 25th of November in Moscow as I understand and I think, this is good.

Does anyone from the Assembly plan to attend?

Some of us will come. I as many other in the leading functions are not able, because we have to listen to the Pope who will come at this day to Strasburg. I like to listen to the Pope, because he expresses many ideas which I share as a radical democrat and social democrat and which I would like to be heard by many other people in Europe to. Also this pope can contribute to overcome the crises in Europe and this is great.

What made this progress possible as nothing changed for Crimea and as we have problems with the implementation of the Minsk agreements?

This is difficult to say, but I think, everybody among us agrees, that none of us has an interest in a new cold or even hot war. And that whenever you want to prevent such an error to happen, you need to dialogue and for this the Parliamentary Assembly is the biggest and most efficient continental platform.

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