COUNCIL OF EUROPE'S NEW SECRETARY GENERAL ON ATTITUDE TO RUSSIA

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STRASBOURG, June 22 (RIA Novosti) - The Council of Europe's new Secretary General Terry Davis promises not to have different attitude to Russia and other members of the organization.

"I am going to treat Russia the same way as the rest forty odd members", said Terry Davis , answering RIA Novosti's question, at his first press conference in the new capacity.

He added that "it would be silly" of him to lay emphasis on some countries.

In his new capacity Mr. Davis is planning "to strengthen the confidence of the Council of Europe's members in the organization, establish more effective cooperation with the UN, OSCE, EU and national and non-governmental organizations".

The new secretary general's plans include the work on settling the challenging issues within the framework of the Council of Europe. In particular, it applies to the issue of restoring Byelorussia's status of the special invitee, suspended in 1997, said Mr. Davis.

Besides, Mr. Davis promised to have a "free and open" discussion with everybody and, particularly, with reporters.

The Russian delegation took Mr. Davis' election with measured optimism. Speaking with reporters, Mikhail Margelov, head of the Federation Council's (Russian parliament's upper chamber) International Committee, expressed the hope that Mr Davis "would keep his election pledges".

Mr Margelov also told the reporters that Russia was planning to nominate its candidate for the Council of Europe's Secretary General in 2009.

According to him, Russia would also nominate a candidate for the PACE speaker.

Mr. Margelov pointed out, that, according to the information he had, Terry Davis, who had been elected the secretary general on Tuesday, had no ambitions for the second term.

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