01:34 GMT18 February 2020
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    Heads of all political groups in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) stand for the return of Russia's delegation to the organization, Alexei Pushkov, the Foreign Affairs Committee chairman in the lower house of the Russian parliament, said Wednesday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Earlier in the say, PACE President Pedro Agramunt held a meeting with Russian parliament speaker Sergei Naryshkin in Moscow.

    "He [Agramunt] confirmed that, first of all, there were major changes in the leadership of the political groups. At the moment, the leaders of all political groups [in PACE] support return [of Russia]," Pushkov noted.

    According to Pushkov, the PACE president stressed that the positions of the leading states in the organization, including Germany and France, had evolved as majority of the delegates believed that conflict between Russia and the European Union needed to be settled.

    Russia left PACE in 2015 after the Assembly adopted several resolutions condemning Crimea's reunification with Russia as well as alleged Russia interference in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. PACE also imposed sanctions on the Russian delegation, barring Russian lawmakers from participating in PACE's three key bodies — its bureau, presidential committee and standing committee.

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    PACE, Alexei Pushkov, Russia
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