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    Russian senator critical of CE Russia resolution

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    MOSCOW, June 1 (RIA Novosti) - A draft resolution on Russia's performance of its obligations before the Council of Europe, compiled by PACE deputies David Atkinson and Rudolf Bindig, was presented Wednesday at a PACE monitoring commission session in Paris. Mikhail Margelov, chairman of the Federation Council's international affairs committee and head of the PACE "European Democrats" faction, reports about his having introduced six amendments concerning the list of Russia's obligations as well as specifying amendments bringing the committee's recommendations in conformity with the earlier-passed conventions, legislative acts and principles of the Russian Federation.

    The resolution despite its well-balanced and correct keynote is not free from one-sidedness and a shallow insight into some problems without due account for Russian peculiarities, according to Margelov. Thus a number of demands upon Russia are either contrary to or absent from the Council of Europe's conventions and former resolutions, and therefore are not binding, he says.

    To illustrate this statement, he cited the demand to publish all the reports of the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment which is not available in the convention of the same name, and consequently is not legally substantiated.

    On the whole, continues Margelov, this document can be characterized as one lacking a comprehensive vision of Russia's ongoing and accomplished moves to perform the obligations taken, and being motivated exclusively by an ultimate result.

    The document is full of harsh words demanding the observance of accords on the withdrawal of Russian troops from Moldova but makes no mention of the fact that the process is being underway.

    Margelov admits however that the resolution points to areas in which Russia's activities are running counter to obligations taken. For example, lack of any notable progress in the effort to ratify the protocol on the abolition of death penalty.

    Margelov believes that Russia should step up activities to perform its obligations as well as the Council of Europe ought to enhance its participation in the afore-mentioned problems.

    At the same time, Margelov notes that the monitoring commission has made a big stride forward and its criticism is largely beneficial. The commission can be praised for being open to discussions and to alternative positions. "On the whole, the dialogue is constructive and I think that Russia will be able to settle most of the problems mentioned in the resolution, in the near future.

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