Pushkov: Russia will miss the January session of PACE, if there are no prospects of lifting the sanctions

Pushkov: Russia will miss the January session of PACE, if there are no prospects of lifting the sanctions

MOSCOW, December 23. The delegation of the Russian Federation will not take part in PACE session in January 2016, if there are no prospects for the abolition of anti-Russian sanctions in the organization. On Wednesday said at a press conference the head of delegation, Chairman of the Duma Committee on international Affairs Alexei Pushkov.

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“We will return to PACE when you are serious prospects for our full and equal participation in the work of this organization. If we come to the conclusion that such prospects does not add up to the beginning of next year, the delegation of the Russian Federation will not participate in the January session of PACE,” he said. However, Pushkov noted that “the final decision has not been taken and it will be made closer to the session”. “We will carefully analyze all the trends in the PACE and will make the final decision”, – said the head of the delegation.

Summing up the year, Pushkov stated that “with the PACE keep the relations established in 2014, we have no relationship.” According to him, this is due to the sanctions policy, which continues to adhere to the majority in PACE. “We had signals for the last two or three months, that PACE would like to resume contacts for our return. Signals is quite vague. No major proposals in the framework of the resumption of dialogue on the basis of obligations that the sanctions will be reduced, if not eliminated altogether, were not given to us and again offered dialogue in terms of sanctions”, – said the head of the Committee.

While Pushkov reminded that Moscow has already declared that “Russia is ready for equal dialogue and only when the lifting of sanctions”. “If sanctions are a significant part of the PACE offer to leave, we in this dialogue are not interested”, he concluded.

The Role Of Merkel

Speaking about the prospect of the abolition of the restrictive measures in 2016, Pushkov said that he sees a personal role of the German Chancellor Angela Merkel in the decision to extend the EU sanctions against Russia.

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“With the U.S. I do not see a real improvement in relations, the relationship will be extremely difficult, the U.S. will be with us to interact only where they are absolutely forced to do it. With Europe, I think the situation is somewhat different, although don’t underestimate the US influence on Europe, in particular Germany, and, in particular, Angela Merkel,” – said Pushkov.

“If not for Merkel’s position, I think the EU could already move not to abolish, but to reduce the sanctions,” – said the head of the Duma Committee. In his opinion, very hard Merkel’s position on this issue has to do with the American influence on Germany. “So in the coming years with Europe, I think if no improvement, will be (only) in some areas”, – stated the Deputy.

In this regard, he recalled that Germany had confirmed its interest in the “Nord stream-2”. “It is a choice in favour of energy cooperation with Russia, although the EU against Poland and almost the whole of Eastern Europe. But where the arguments are such that they cannot be discarded, the EU will be to work with us. Where such arguments are not, it will stand approximately at the same positions,” concluded Pushkov.

The lifting of sanctions

However, Pushkov believes that the EU in the spring of 2016 will attempt to review the sanctions against Russia.

“I can assume, that somewhere in the spring will begin a more active search for possibilities of revising the sanctions against Russia, and I hope that it will lead to the results in the summer,” said Pushkov.

“Now (in late 2015) the sanctions were adopted despite the apparent unanimity, in the setting of serious disagreements”, – he noted. According to Pushkov, “these differences are amplified by the summer of 2016”.

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All sanctions of the West against Russia