Pushkov: the new President of the PACE can be created conditions for dialogue with Russia

Pushkov: the new President of the PACE can be created conditions for dialogue with Russia

MOSCOW, January 25. The head of the Duma Committee on international Affairs Alexei Pushkov hopes that the elected January 25, the President of the parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) Pedro Agramunt will make the necessary efforts to create conditions for the resumption of a constructive dialogue of this organization and the Russian Federation.

Realistic-minded politician

“In our view, during its presidency (the former head of the PACE) Anne Brasseur has not created the necessary conditions for the resumption of constructive dialogue on equal terms with Russia. I hope that Pedro Agramunt – to the extent, from which it will determine, will endeavour to restore such a dialogue,” said Pushkov.

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According to the parliamentarian, who heads the Russian delegation to PACE, “Agramunt is known for a much more constructive attitude towards Russia than Anne Brasseur”. “Although he, too, was often critical motives in Russia, however, this whole situation with the sanctions (against Russia’s delegation to PACE – approx.) he played a rather modest role, and was among those who tried to find a way out of this situation and not tried to push her into the impasse in which it ended,” – said Pushkov.

The MP said that Agramunt is in PACE the European people’s party, the largest faction, which brings together the party’s conservative focus, in particular, it includes representatives of the German CDU, French Republicans.

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“So it is the Union of right-wing conservative MPs, representatives of which regularly lead PACE. In particular, to the PACE President Anne Brasseur liberally was also a representative of the European people’s party Jean-Claude Mignon,” he said.

Assessment Pushkov, Agramunt is “realistically minded European politicians, but, of course, related to the position of his own party, the position of their colleagues in the European people’s party”. “I mean, to say that he is Pro-Russian position, is also incorrect. He rather advocated a return to a full-fledged dialogue with Russia and the normalization of relations between Russia and PACE,” – said the head of profile Duma Committee.

In search of a constructive approach

He expressed the hope that when Agramunt starts “some positive shifts in the PACE”, where the current majority, “insisting on his anti-Russian approaches, … has actually created a situation of confrontation between Russia and the Assembly”.

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As such, the delegation of the Russian Federation refused to seek the powers in PACE at the January session 2016, the MP reminded.

Pushkov also has noticed that Agramunt repeatedly came to Moscow as a member of the PACE Presidential Committee when it was headed by Brasseur, and participated in negotiations with the Chairman of the state Duma Sergei Naryshkin in Paris and Strasbourg. “The purpose of these discussions was finding ways in which PACE could abandon anti-Russian sanctions, and the Russian delegation could return to normal work PACE”, – informed the Deputy, noting that these discussions Agramunt “was shown themselves sufficiently moderate, constructive and has not been seen in unnecessary inflaming passions”.

To create conditions for progress

However Pushkov said that the PACE President “has a certain effect on the mood within the organization,” but he, “rather, is a moderator, cannot prescribe political parties, individual PACE members how to vote”.

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“Therefore, to entrust the chairmanship of Agramunt unreasonable expectations – namely, that since his arrival on post, which is still occupied, Anne Brasseur, will fundamentally change the mood of a significant part of the PACE on the maintenance of sanctions against Russia is not necessary”, – said the Agency interlocutor, adding that the PACE President is a “figure that can create or not to create the conditions for any progress”.

New PACE President

Spanish politician Pedro Agramunt, was elected on 25 January, the new Chairman of PACE. He replaced Anne Brasseur, who headed the organization the past two years.

The native of Valencia Agramunt since 2008 is a member of the Senate of Spain from “people’s party”. At the PACE he plays an active role, acting as Rapporteur on a number of controversial topics.

The PACE Chairman is elected for a term of one year renewable for one year.