The inter-parliamentary conference entitled "Russia - Ukraine: Strategic Partnership" began the other day. The Russian parliamentary delegation, which comprises members of the State Duma and the Federation Council (i.e. the national Parliament's lower and upper houses), is headed by State Duma Speaker Boris Gryzlov.
Talking to correspondents the other day, Gryzlov noted that members of the Russian Parliament intended to raise issues concerning the ratification by Ukraine of a memorandum on mutual understanding with NATO, which stipulates the deployment of NATO forces on Ukrainian territory.
There was no need to tighten security and to provide additional guarantees for NATO armed forces, Gryzlov stressed.
Members of Russia's Parliament will discuss the Ukrainian national TV-and-radio broadcasting council's recommendations stipulating Ukrainian-language regional broadcasts alone.
The State Duma's April 21 plenary session passed a draft appeal to the Ukrainian Supreme Rada (Parliament), which voices concern and alarm in connection with both issues, the Speaker reminded those present.
For its own part, the Federation Council intends to pass a special statement April 28; that document will be dealing with the Ukrainian national TV-and-radio broadcasting council's decision to ban Russian-language TV-and-radio broadcasts in the country.
Talking to reporters, Federation Council Speaker Sergei Mironov referred to this ban as a "historical mistake".
Apart from these topical political issues, the Crimean conference will discuss Russian-Ukrainian economic integration.