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    President of the OSCE PA, Austria's Christine Muttonen speaks during the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly's 26th Annual Session in Minsk, Belarus, Wednesday, July 5, 2017

    Minsk Abstention in OSCE Crimea Resolution Vote Not Sign of Rift With Moscow

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    Russian State Duma’s International Affairs Committee Chairman Leonid Slutsky said that Russia and Belarus were the "closest partners," pointing out that the partners’ attitude to the Ukrainian crisis may differ.

    MINSK (Sputnik) – The Belarusian abstention from voting on the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Parliamentary Assembly’s resolution on Crimea is not a sign of disagreements between Moscow and Minsk, Russian State Duma’s International Affairs Committee Chairman Leonid Slutsky said Friday.

    Earlier in the day, the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly's Committee on Political Affairs and Security adopted the resolution on Restoration of the Sovereignty and Territorial Integrity of Ukraine proposed by the Ukrainian delegation, which called on Russia to revise its decision to reunify with Crimea and to stop the "aggression" in Donbas. The Belarusian representative, Deputy Foreign Minister Valery Voronetsky, abstained from the voting.

    "The developments on the parliamentary diplomacy track should not be regarded as an indicator of negative relations between Moscow and Minsk," Slutsky told reporters.

    Russia's senior lawmaker noted that Russia and Belarus were the "closest partners," pointing out that the partners’ attitude to the Ukrainian crisis may differ.

    "I would not attach a great importance to that and speak about serious disagreements between our countries," Slutsky added.

    Crimea rejoined Russia in March 2014 after the referendum held on March 16, with almost 97 percent of the residents having voted for the reunification. Ukraine as well as the international community has not recognized the move with Kiev still considering Crimea as an occupied territory.


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