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    PACE Supports Russia’s Offer to Review State Monitoring Procedures

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    The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) delegation agreed with the speaker of Russia’s lower house of parliament Sergey Naryshkin’s proposal to review monitoring procedures, Alexei Pushkov, the Foreign Affairs Committee chairman in the lower house of the Russian parliament said Wednesday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Earlier in the day, during the meeting with the PACE chairman Pedro Agramunt and political group leaders, Naryshkin put forward several serious proposals to be implemented by the PACE in order to avoid conflicts and to ensure equal cooperation, including the possibility of deprivation or restriction of the powers of national delegations.

    "Second, to review the monitoring procedure. We have been discussing this issue for two or three years…We are in favor of a thematic or situational monitoring, but in any case, there should be a cross-cutting monitoring," Pushkov told journalists.

    The Russian side also proposed to improve voting procedures to ensure that important PACE decisions were not accepted by minority vote.

    "I must say that there was an absolute agreement with some of these proposals, in particular with the fact that all states should be subject to the monitoring procedure, and that there should not be a group of constantly monitored states, and another group of states that have not been monitored at all. I think that no one in the PACE will defend earlier position. It is outdated, it is anti-democratic, it is anti-discriminatory," the Foreign Affairs Committee chairman added.

    In April 2014, PACE adopted a resolution which barred Russian lawmakers from participating in PACE's three key bodies — its Bureau, Presidential Committee and Standing Committee.

    Russia did not renew its credentials ahead of the Parliamentary Assembly’s 2016 winter session and made its return conditional to the restoration of its delegates' rights to vote and participate in PACE institutions.

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