|All Sources > The Current Digest of the Russian Press (DA-CDRP) > The Current Digest of the Russian Press > 2016 > No. 42, Vol. 68|
TIME FOR DISCUSSION
Author: Tatyana Zamakhina
(By Tatyana Zamakhina. Rossiiskaya gazeta, Oct. 21, 2016, p. 2. Complete text:) State Duma speaker Vyacheslav Volodin made remarks in response to a letter from Pedro Agramunt, head of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), in which the latter invited [Volodin] to meet and expressed hope that Russia would return to the organization. Volodin says the Russian delegation will return to PACE only if all of its rights are restored, including the right to vote.
In his letter, the European politician [also] wished Volodin every success as newly elected speaker of the State Duma’s seventh convocation, and expressed the hope of congratulating him personally. He proposed to meet in the near future at a convenient opportunity. Agramunt wrote that PACE should be a platform for political dialogue and communication between parliamentary delegations of all 47 member countries, not just 46, meaning that Russia should resume working with the assembly.
"There should be bilateral relations; there should be continuous dialogue," Volodin told journalists when asked whether he would meet with Agramunt. The speaker will invite him to Moscow in a [written] reply to the letter.
"But as for the [Russian] delegation taking part in PACE’s work - as you know, that is possible only after all rights are restored," Volodin stressed.
He called it an "outrageous fact" that the Russian delegation was deprived of its vote and fundamental powers [see Current Digest, Vol. 66, No. 15, pp. 7 - 9].
The delegation simply has no right to resume work with PACE as long as its powers are "stripped," he said, because that goes against the interests of Russian voters. "People just wouldn’t understand," Volodin explained. "The population of Russia elects [Duma] deputies, those deputies come to PACE, and then they’re prohibited from expressing their point of view or voting on a particular issue? What is that? Who ...