The Russian delegation will suggest passing a resolution on the need to tighten criminal liability for financing terrorism at the annual session of the Parliamentary Assembly (PA) of the Organization for Security and Co-Operation in Europe (OSCE) to be held in Minsk on July 5-9, head of the Russian delegation to the OSCE PA and Vice Speaker of Russia’s State Duma Pyotr Tolstoy told reporters.

The issue at hand is, in particular, the need to tighten criminal liability envisaged by the national legislations of the OSCE member-countries against individuals “involved in financing, planning, preparing or carrying out terrorist attacks.” The document also points to the importance of preventing “the cross-border movement of individuals and financial resources linked to terrorist activity.”

In addition to that, the draft resolution calls for “taking decisive actions to neutralize the threat posed by the ideology of terrorism spread online and through social networking websites and used, in particular, for the public justification of terrorism, incitement and recruitment.” Russian lawmakers also suggest calling on the media to voluntarily refuse to provide information platform to terrorists and their sponsors and heat up tensions in the information space.

“I believe this paragraph of the resolution is the most important, since today the main events unfold in media studios and online rather than on the battlefield,” Tolstoy noted. “We are coming across an outright falsification of facts increasingly more often. Its principal objective is demonizing a particular country or political force for the sake of subsequent justification of aggression against entire nations,” he said, adding that this is particularly evident in the case of Syria. “Western media attribute terrorist crimes to government troops thus justifying their own actions against that sovereign country, which are not always legitimate, and trying to whitewash the reputation of the organizations designated as terrorist almost all over the world.”

A separate paragraph of the resolution proposes to set up a committee to counter terrorism within the OSCE PA, which could contribute to the rapprochement between the member-countries in the fight against terrorist threat and coordination of their actions.

The second draft resolution proposed by the Russian delegation for passing at the session speaks of “the inadmissibility of discrimination and intolerance against Christians, Muslims and followers of other religions.” The Russian legislators point to the right of every individual to freedom of thought, religion and belief and call for interreligious dialogue. They also emphasize that “terrorist attacks carried out by individuals or groups that associate themselves with a particular religion or beliefs cannot be used as an excuse for justifying religious intolerance.”

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