Russia suggested establishing an inter-parliamentary contact group under the auspices of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly to discuss ways to overcome the crisis in Ukraine, as the situation demands an international solution.
Speaking at а news conference on recent events in Ukraine, Head of the State Duma Committee on International Affairs Alexei Pushkov discussed the possibility of sanctions against some Ukrainian politicians, the controversy surrounding Andriy Deshitsa and relations with the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE).
Alexei Pushkov believes that Ukraine is currently ruled by a nationalistic dictatorship that sees Russia as an implacable enemy. While the Russian Government does not rule out the possibility of reaching out to those Verkhovna Rada representatives that are open to dialogue, Puchkov said that President Petro Poroshenko must first order an end to hostilities in the south-east of Ukraine. He emphasized that the repeated delay of the start of peace talks by the Ukrainian leadership suggests that all recent statements are made only to put a good face on things. He dismissed as a political ploy the appointment of Verkhovna Rada Deputy Irina Gerashchenko as the president’s peace envoy to the Donetsk and Lugansk regions.
Pushkov noted that a number of incidents in Ukraine constitute violations of international law, such as the death of two Russian journalists from the VGTRK TV and Radio Broadcasting Company in the shelling of the outskirts of Slavyansk by Ukrainian forces and demonstrators’ attack on the Russian Embassy in Kiev. Pushkov called for individual sanctions against some Ukrainian politicians for human rights abuses and the deaths of the Russian journalists.
Commenting on former Acting Foreign Minister of Ukraine Andriy Deshitsa’s disparaging remarks about President Vladimir Putin, Pushkov said that such language disqualifies Deshitsa as a diplomat and that replacing him was the right decision. However, he also believes an official apology from Ukraine should have followed.
As for PACE’s April decision to deny Russia its right to vote and take part in the presidential council and monitoring missions, Pushkov said this may change in January 2015 when Russia’s rights are “reaffirmed.” He said the sides maintain an ongoing dialogue, and during a recent phone call PACE President Anne Brasseur and State Duma Speaker Sergei Naryshkin discussed the possibility of a meeting between representatives in a European capital, adding that “this does not mean that Russia is considering returning.”
Pushkov said Russia suggested establishing an inter-parliamentary contact group under the auspices of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly to discuss ways to overcome the crisis in Ukraine, as the situation demands an international solution.