European states should foster dialogue with Russia, with particular attention to negotiating the ways of resolving Ukrainian situation, both on the levels of governments and parliaments, President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) Pedro Agramunt said Friday.
“It is necessary to move forward in the dialogue with Russia, especially regarding the issue of the Ukrainian conflict, to look for solutions,” Agramunt said, adding that the issue should be considered at both government and parliamentary levels.
Agramunt noted that Russia had problems in relations with regional European organizations, however Russian-Spanish bilateral relations were strong.
Agramunt delivered his speech at the event, devoted to the 40th anniversary of re-establishment of diplomatic relations between Spain and Russia, which took place in Russia’s embassy in Madrid.
On January 12-13, Agramunt visited Moscow to meet with Russian lower house speaker Vyacheslav Volodin and negotiate the possibility of decreasing Russian fee to the Council of Europe.
Russian delegation will participate in the meeting of the PACE Standing Committee, which is set to be held on March 10 in Madrid.
Russian lawmakers have been absent from PACE, which brings together 324 members of parliaments of the Council of Europe’s 47 member states, since Crimea left Ukraine for Russia in early 2014. The assembly adopted resolutions in 2014 and 2015 barring Russian lawmakers from participating in the work of its three key bodies – the Bureau, the Presidential Committee and the Standing Committee.
Russia did not renew its credentials ahead of the assembly’s 2016 winter session and made its return conditional on the full restoration of its delegates’ voting rights. In 2017, Russia did not seek accreditation either.