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OSCE PA Head 'Cannot Imagine' European Political Dialogue Without Russia

© AP Photo / Mikko StigChairman of the Parliamentary Assembly, Ilkka Kanerva, attends the 24th Annual Session of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, Parliamentary Assembly, in Helsinki, Finland, Thursday, July 9, 2015
Chairman of the Parliamentary Assembly, Ilkka Kanerva, attends the 24th Annual Session of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, Parliamentary Assembly, in Helsinki, Finland, Thursday, July 9, 2015 - Sputnik International
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Ilkka Kanerva said he could not imagine a political dialogue in Europe without Russia.

Russian regions. Crimea - Sputnik International
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MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Political dialogue in Europe is not possible without Russia’s participation, the head of the Organizations for Security and Co-operation in Europe Parliamentary Assembly (OSCE PA) Ilkka Kanerva told journalists Thursday.

“For now, I cannot imagine a political dialogue in Europe without the participation of Russia. Russia is a key player in the European Union for us, particularly the State Duma should be represented in this dialogue,” Kanerva said.

The Assembly first deprived Russia of voting rights in April 2014 amid the country’s alleged involvement in the Ukrainian crisis. Moscow has firmly denied the claim.

At the beginning of the year, the EU lawmakers chose to prolong the restrictions on Russia’s voting rights over a lack of improvement in the Ukrainian situation.

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