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Home arrow newsitems arrow Russian Duma Foreign Affairs Committee President Slutsky to EF: +CoE Exchanges for Peace in Syria

Russian Duma Foreign Affairs Committee President Slutsky to EF: +CoE Exchanges for Peace in Syria

Written by ACM
Thursday, 26 April 2018
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*Strasbourg/CoE/Angelo Marcopolo/- For the 1st Time after Years, CoE had a Chance for Discussions with Top Political Russian Politicians on the "Hot" and Topical Issue of Syria, Today in Strasbourg, as revealed in Reply to an "Eurofora" Question the experienced President of Duma's Foreign Affairs Committee, Leonid Slutsky, of the Liberal Democratic Party, a Long-Time former Key Member of CoE's PanEuropean Parliamentary Assembly (PACE).


 - "Eurofora" had Observed the Unusual Fact that PACE's Plenary was just Starting an Exceptional Debate on "Europe's Role in PeaceMaking Initiatives on Syria", Added at the Last Minute to its Official Agenda, as a "Current Affairs" Debate, by a Striking Coincidence, ... the Same Day, and even exactly at the Same Moment that a Rare High-Level Meeting between Top Russian Politicians and PACE's Leadership, had been Scheduled to Conclude here, at the CoE, in Strasbourg...


 - "It's Necessary, may be, to Wait some Hours", Carefully Replied Leonid Slutsky to "Eurofora"s Question whether Russian representatgives might Discuss possible developments in Syria with their collegues of CoE's PanEuropean Organisation, (which has 47 Member States, including Russia).


- "Now, that Debate (on Syria, in PACE's Plenary) has just Started", he accurately observed.


=> - So, indeed, "I'll go for an Exchange of Views, in a few Hours"' Time, the President of Russian Dumas' Foreign Affairs Committee announced to "Eurofora", (who had already noted, inter alia, also the Fact that, Exceptionaly, even the Office of the Russian Deleghation to PACE had been set and prepared for Collective Meetings, since Yesterday Evening).


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President Slutsky had just spoken at a "Press-Point" with Journalists, including "Eurofora", at the Conclusion of a special High-Level PACE's Committee on this PanEuropean Assembly's Mission, set up Recently, from the End of Last Year (2017), in order to Deal with the "Burning" Issue of Russian MEPs' possible Return, after their Departure, in Controversial Circumstances, since the Ukranian Conflict suddenly emerged after the Winter 2014 provoked Clashes in Kiev droped a Compromise Agreement signed then by former President Yanukovich and the Maidan Demonstrators' Opposition, in the presence of the French, German and Polish Foreign Ministers, (See, f.ex.: ....., etc).


Various Other Key Members of CoE's Political Leadership had just indicated to "Eurofora" that the Confidential Talks inside that "Ad Hoc" Top Committee were, this Time, "Interesting", as they stressed, pointing, for the rest, at the immediate Foreseeable Future for more Concrete Developments.

 

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- To "Eurofora"'s Question "what was the most Interesting point" in those Talks, President Slutsky, teasing, Replied that - "the Most Interesting for me, is that, by coming here (at the CoE), I can Meet People like you", as he Friendly Joked, with a Smile, (after having, already Saluted, from the Start, with a Friendly : "Bonjour Collègue. Hereux de vous voir !", in pure French)... 

                                                                                                                                                                                          - Indeed, Slutsky's overall mood appeared to correspod, grosso modo, to what he Earlier, soberly but positively named as "Constructive" Atmosphere, when it came to HighLight his overall impression from the Talks inside that High-Level "Ad Hoc" Top Committee.


- Despite Past strong Criticism against him Personally from some quarters, (which Persisted, with UnPrecedented Long Personal verbal Attacks by 1 Opposed MEP, both at the Corridors and during a Different Debate in CoE's Plenary, until the Chairman-in-office Cut the Sound), nevertheless, the Experienced President of the EuroLeft Group, Dutch Senator Tiny Cox, told "Eurofora" that his attitude, Today, was "Intelligent", and that he played well at that Special Meeting.


+ As for PACE's President himself, Italian Professor Michele Nicoletti, questioned also by "Eurofora", at first simply denied that he might have "Succeeded" to mark a Political "Breakthrough" for now : - "Success, is a Big Word". In Fact, it was "Quite Constructive", and, at any case, "there will be a Continuation at a Next Meeting", so that "I hope that we are going to have progres", Nicoletti Positively told us, smiling enigmatically.


- From Other, but Well-Informed CoE's Top Sources, "Eurofora" heard that this Next Meeting of that High-Level "Ad Hoc" Committee on PACE's "Mission", is Scheduled for the Beginning of June, "at Zagreb", in Croatia, (InComing Next CoE's President in office, for the Period of Mid-May - November 2018), side by side with CoE Assembly's "Standing" Committee, (which, in principle, has the Same Powers as also its Plenary).


+ Meanwhile, according to Various, Other Sources, both the new French President, Emmanuel Macron, and the Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, were due to Visit Russia asap. in order to Meet, mainly, with President Vladimir Putin.


Prime Minister Tsipras' Invitation by the Russian President to visit Moscow had already been Anounced, just after a reportedly "Balanced" stance that he kept at the Latest EU Summit in Brussels, at the End of March 2018, (Comp. various "Eurofora"s NewsReports from the spot), almost as also Austria (the Next EU President in office for the Period of July - December 2018), etc. And, by a Coincidence, it's 1st the Head of the Greek Delegation at PACE, MEP Ioanna Kavvadia, who Walked out of Today's High-Level Russia-PACE Meeting, looking particularly Busy, Phoning somewhere Urgently, etc., right in front of "Eurofora", followed, shortly afterwards, by Cyprus' Head of Delegation, and former CoE Assembly's President Stella Kyriakides from Cyprus, with a Calm but Mysterious smile, closely followed by various Other Top MEPs...


But it was from well-informer Russian sources, here in Strasbourg (France), that "Eurofora" was duly Informed about the prospect also for new French President Macron, (Comp. various Recent, April 2018 Macron's Statements to "Eurofora", f.ex. at:  ..., etc), to Visit on May 2018 Moscow, (i.e. shortly after another important Visit, Earlier this Week, in the USA, to meet President Don Trump).

Given also the Fact that France will take over CoE's rotating Presidency on 2019, when a New PanEuropean Summit of 47 Heads of State/Government (including Russia, as Member, while even USA is a Permanent Observer here) is expected, manifold Important relevant Developments may naturally be expected.

=> Including, eventual real Progress on the Issue of the Conditions of Russian MEPs' re-integration of CoE's Assembly, perhaps at that Next Meeting of the competent PACE's High-Level Committee at the Beginning of June in Zagreb (Comp. Supra), considering also the Fact that (as other CoE's Officials told Strasbourg Journalists, including "Eurofora", recently), the Question of Russia's "Big Payer" Financial Contribution to the CoE, (that Moscow felt necessary to Suspend, after 3 Years withOut a normal Participation Ensured for the Russian MEPs in PACE, since a Controversial Measure taken on pretext of the Ukranian Conflict's ill-elucidated outbreak, Back on 2014), has to be normaly Settled before the End of June, for Practical and Legal reasons.

At Zagreb the participants will have More Time available, if necessary, than the 1,5 Hour that was available Today in Strasbourg, ("Not Enough", according to some Insiders, particularly when MEPs had also to Deal with Other Topical Issues, as "Monitoring", etc, as they told us), before PACE Plenary's Topical Debate on Europe's role in Peacemaking Initiatives in Syria, (Comp. Supra)...

 

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 imag0972_400


    Scientific innovation joined to Faith for Human Rights, Eastern Partnership and fight against the Crisis, but above all, the need to overcome the "Crisis of Trust" from EU Citizens, are the main priorities for new EU Parliament's President, Polish Jerzy Buzek, that a 555-votes-strong majority of MEPs on July 14,  Strasbourg made a living symbol of the fact that, 20 years after the fall of Berlin Wall (1989 - 2009) there is no more an Eastern or Western Europe, but only one Europe, as the head of the largest group of MEPs, ChristianDemocrats/EPP, Joseph Daul, stressed after the event.

    Speaking later to a group of Strasbourg's Journalists, including "EuroFora", the new EU Parliament's President clarified his stance on concrete topical issues, as f.ex. that of Turkey's controversial EU bid, which was one of the main issues of the June 2009 Electoral campain, clearly won by his party of ChristianDemocrats/EPP :  - "At present, Turkey does not fullfil none of EU conditions", he stressed, (See infra).

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    Buzek is well known in Strasbourg and to "EuroFora" as EU Rapporteur for the Framework Program of Scientific Research and Development of Technologies. A Natural Science Professor from the Historic and Religious landmark Polish City of Częstochowa, active in the famous Solidarnosk grass-roots social movement, he served 4 years as Prime Minister (1997-2001), before being elected as MEP in 2004 and 2009, after he brillantly won the latest EU Election at the head of his party (EPP) almost doubling the number of its MEPs from 15 to 28 !

    - "Innovation" and "Energy safety", as well as fight against the "Cimat change", but also "Eastern Partnership", the "Mediterranean", "Strategic partnerships" with Russia, the USA, etc, and the search for "solutions to the Economic Crisis" that EU Citizens "expect" from us, will be his "priorities", announced from the outset the new EU Parliament's President, reminding also that the quest for "Human and Civic Rights" played an important role in his experience with the Solidarnosc grass-roots social movement in Poland's History

    But, the most important of all, is the urgent need to overcome the "Crisis of Trust" between EU Institutions and the People he stressed : - EU "Citizens often don't understand us", denounced Buzek, launcing a call to "do anything for EU Citizens to understand our work" in EU Parliament : "We (MEPs) need to make EU Citizens involved" in "what we are doing every week, in Strasbourg and Brussels", he proposed. Pointing f.ex. to the hot "Debates" with "strong arguments" exchanged between MEPs during the preparation of their Legislative Decisions, in Committees, delivering often hard struggles between initially opposed points of view, long before forging a majority at the final vote, sometimes more than a year..

    Therefore, EU Parliament will be "open to your criticism, for discussion and exchange of views", he promissed to Journalists in Strasbourg.

    In this way, Buzek, in fact, highlighted "EuroFora"s main idea, that we strongly advocate since 1997-2007, to systematicaly and actively involve EU Citizens in public debates during the decision-making process of important EU measures, which affect their lives and the society in which they live, (and not only just a few weeks each 4 or 5 Years at the eve of EU Elections)...
--------------------
    This is related also to the symbolic gift that Buzek chose to give to the out-going former EU Parliament's President, Hans Gert Poettering, (2007-2009), his collegue in the ChristianDemocrats/EPP, who brillantly won 2009 EU Elections in Germany : A genuine statute of sainte Barbara crafted in Silesia's black Coal by Polish Miners : Those simple but strong people who fought for social change against some technocrats and bureaucrats disguissed into so-called "real-socialists" of old times. (PHOTO).

    It's enough to have seen a popular open air mass, at Warsaw's center, with many thousands of people, old and young, simple workers and intellectuals mixed together, with references to Poland's history and struggles for survival and liberty, through various ages, (as fex. that organized at the eve of CoE's 2005 panEuropean Heads of State and Government for the beatification of late Pope John-Paul II), in order to understand what such symbols mean..

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    But, overcoming the "Crisis of Trust" with EU Citizens obviously implies also to rectify any errors done in the past, fex. on Turkey's controversial EU bid, with controversial decisions taken in 1999 and 2004 to give a "candidate" status and to start EU negotiations, provoking an unprecedented series of 3 "No" to EuroReferenda and 3 Majoriy Abstentions in EU Parliament Elections : 1999, 2005 and 2009, (even if the latest one succeeded to decelerate and almost stop the drop of participation rates, opening hopes for vote's revival after an electoral campaign clearly critical to Turkey's claims in several mainstream EU countries)
    
    Therefore, Buzek was faced with manifold critical Questions on EU Enlargement, most of them citting concrete examples of certain political problems  :  But his replies were almost always given as a matter of general principle :

    F.ex. Questioned on the suspension of EU - Croatia talks because of a Border conflict with EU Member Slovenia, Buzek prefered to speak about principles :

- "We know that during Enlargement, the process can be blocked by failure to resolve this kind of issues",  This concerns also other enlargments' cases", and "these rules are always in force" he warned.


But Buzek avoided to directly reply to a queston on "French and German EPP' calls to define the Borders of Europe", as a German journalist asked him by making a reference to French President Nicolas Sarkozy, and German Chancellor Angie Merkel's, critical statements on Turkey at the June 2009 Electoral campain.    

- "Concerning Enlargement, there's always the same rules : There have to be Criteria, which have to be respected if a Country wants to join the EU", he started to simply reply.

- "For my country (Poland) it took us 15 Years to fullfil these Criteria", Buzek reminded, indicating, if proportions are kept, that Turkey, fex. would have to spend some 25 years before eventually joining the EU..

- "Countries wishing to join the EU need to Change their Systems", as we (Poland and other former Eastern European Countries) did, he stressed.

- "'For me, meeting the condition of Human Rights is one of the Key conditions for membership in the EU", preferring again to speak from the point of view of General Principles, on the occasion of an untimely question on Serbia (which is not even a candidate yet)...

- "Turkey" has, "first of all", to fullfil (EU) Copenhagen criteria". Bevause, currently, none of them is fullfiled by Turkey", New EU Parliament's President, denounced, speaking later to a group of Journalists, including "EuroFora".

buzek_close_a_400 

In particular, on Human Rights :  - "We (EU) can never forget Human Rights", because "this is at the very Foundations of the EU", Buzek added.

On the contrary, when he referred to EU Enlargment for the  "Western Balkans Countries ", Buzek appeared upbeat, finding "promising situations", despite "difficulties" in the Past, since "Countries are queuing to become EU members", and this "generated changes", as he said.

As for Russia, Buzek observed that it was a "very important" country, located "in the same Continent", Europe,  "close to our borders", and "we need eachother". "But Russia' has 'differend poblems : "They claim that their system is Democratic, but rules are differend", and we must be "aware of such differencies", fex. "on Human Rights", that we can't ignore, as he said;

Concerning China, where a journalist observed that the recipient of EU Parliament's latest "Sakharov prize" for freedom of thought is "still in prison", Buzek found that since the 1999 events in Tien Amin square, "we see differencies on Human Rights still today", and expressed his "support" for those who try to ameliorate the situation.

On the contrary, speaking recently to "EuroFora" he strongly supported the idea for an EU - Ukraine cooperation, fex. between Airbus and Antonov, in order to build a  less costly but more performant than the old and problematic A400M, new Military Transport Airplane : - "They (Ukranian Antonov Company) can certainly do it. I'm sure they can. It's a good Idea, and I'd be glad if it was done", he told us. (See : http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/airbusantonov.html )


(../..)

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