Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Grigoriy Karasin is ready to speak to the UK parliament on the issue of the Crimean referendum, the region’s reunification with Russia and the subsequent disagreements between Moscow and London, UK Member of Parliament Daniel Kawczynski said Tuesday.
Earlier in May, a delegation comprising five members of the UK parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee visited Russia where they met a number of parliamentary and Foreign Ministry officials. The Russian Foreign Ministry said that the sides discussed settling the Ukrainian conflict and fulfilling the Minsk agreements.
“He [Karasin] said, if you want an explanation of why, what we did and what the essentials [of the Crimean referendum] were, I would be happy to speak to your parliament about it… We have invited them, and we have invited [Head of the Russian Duma Foreign Affairs Committee Alexei] Pushkov after the elections to speak to the parliament,” Kawczynski told RIA Novosti.
Both are interested in easing tensions between the countries while admitting to having a number of significant differences, Kawczynski noted, adding that discussions on the Syrian conflict, the Baltic States and the Litvinenko case also took place.
“We have to form some form of ongoing communication and dialogue. So it was a very effective first step,” he stressed, emphasizing that the current contact between the two countries is on an exclusively governmental level and needs to be broadened to a parliamentary level.
Relations between Russia and the West deteriorated in 2014 amid the crisis in Ukraine. The European Union, the United States and their allies have introduced several rounds of anti-Russia sanctions since Crimea became part of Russia in 2014 and Moscow was accused of meddling in the Ukrainian conflict. Moscow has repeatedly refuted the allegations.