September 27, 2012 - 15:15 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - The speaker of the lower house of the Russian parliament, Sergei Naryshkin, refused to speak before the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) because of “Russophobes” waiting to pan Russia’s political system.
“The closer we got to the opening of the PACE session, the more we felt that my strategic proposals were unlikely to receive a fair hearing from the assembly, from a host of leaders and Russo-phobic delegations,” Naryshkin told journalists in Moscow on Thursday, Sept 27.
Naryshkin, who was to lead the Russian delegation to the PACE session, had planned to discuss major issues in the development of parliamentarianism in Europe in his speech next Monday.
“[But] there is more interest in other things. I believe it is possible I could address the session when the circumstances are appropriate,” Naryshkin said.
The entire Russian squad of 36 parliamentarians may opt to snub the PACE session, State Duma deputy Robert Shlegel said on his Twitter on Thursday, echoing earlier unofficial reports.
But the claim was rejected later the same day by his senior colleague, Alexei Pushkov, the head of the Duma’s international affairs committee, who will be replacing Naryshkin as the delegation’s head.
The assembly is scheduled to examine on Tuesday a new report on Russia’s honoring of its PACE commitments – the first such study since 2005 – and to pass a resolution on it.
The draft resolution, prepared by rapporteurs Andreas Gross and Gyorgy Frunda, proposes to tighten monitoring over how Russia is working to meet its commitments to the Council of Europe.