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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

Parašė ACM
Thursday, April 26, 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).


----------------------


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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  Ten Years of ECHR : 1998 - 2008 show need of Revival in 2009-2010 coinciding with 2009 EU Election
   

A threefold, coordinated move by new Top French Political actors in the 2009 EU Parliament Elections, expressed in Strasbourg a will to boost Europe's Political dimension close to Citizens' concerns, going from protection of Economy to defence of Human Rights.    

The move met an exceptional ECHR's call for a "revival" of Human Rights' protection mechanism', in a Mega-Conference, early 2010.   

Obviously focusing on June 2009 Elections to EU Parliament, it involved from the outset the recently nominated "dual" Head of French Governing Party (UMP)  Michel BARNIER and Rachida DATI :

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     - "As President Sarkozy has clearly said, we (France) are in favor of a Strong, Sovereign and Independent, Political Europe, which protects its Citizens, and not for a large Super-Market, nor for a Europe under influence",

    "This goes for everything, including Energy", added to "EuroFora" the experienced former EU Commissioner, Minister of Foreign affairs, currently of Agriculture and Sarkozy's new pick as Leader of the Governing party UMP to EU 2009 Election, Michel BARNIER                                              .                             

  - Human Rights are important because they are at the Heart of the Political Europe that we aspire for : I.e. a Europe able to act and protect its Citizens, stressed also the New French Minister for European affairs, Bruno LE MAIRE, while meeting Strasbourg's Journalists at his first visit to the CoE.   

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This is one of the main interests for CoE, which is also a natural place for cooperation between EU countries and Russia or Turkey, which was recently helpful at the Middle East crisis, he added.

The move gained momentum with French Minister of Justice, Rachida Dati's main observations at ECHR's 5Oth Anniversary :   

- "While we are seeking Europe's Borders and Identity, you (ECHR) remind us also of its Values", Human Rights, Dati noted.   

Citizens seek more and more often ECHR's help, and the tempo accelerates, Europa awaits a symbol, while national legal orders are not freezed   

And she expressed "support" to ECHR President Jean-Paul Costa's call to satisfy the vital need to revigorate the PanEuropean Court by deciding big changes at a High-Level Conference open to a large audience, a kind of "Etats Generaux" of Human Rights, at the beginning of 2010.       

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It's not so much the recently growing number of applications for Russia or Ukraine etc, which seems to be Costa's main concern : In fact, the cases declared "admissible" are much fewer...    

But rather the persistent violations of Human Rights, sometimes very grave (ie. murders, torture, abritrary deprivation of liberty, oppression of freedom of speech, destructions of homes/properties, etc), despite numerous, repeated condemnations by ECHR. So that CoE's Ministers, due to "supervise execution" of ECHR's judgements, are overloaded.   

F.ex. most Media noted that Turkey still remains, even in 2008, the 1st among 47 CoE member States in the number of condemnations by ECHR :  257, compared to 233 for Russia, with a population more than the double..    

The problem is that it's not the 1st time at all : During all the last Decade 1998-2008, Turkey was condemned by ECHR much more than any other State, and for particularly grave violations :   

- 1.652 condemnations, compared to 605 for Russia, 548 for Poland, 494 for France, 476 for Ukraine, etc.   

Italy's second place with 1.394 condemnations is a misleading false appearance : In fact, most of them (999) concern mere "procedural delays" in national courts. Same for France.   

On the contrary, Turkey was condemned 180 times for Killings, 192 times for Torture or Inhuman/Degrading treatments, 340 times for arbitrary deprivation of Liberty, 528 times for "Unfair trial", and 169 times for oppression of Freedom of speech, (etc). And the latest, 2008 numbers, indicate no change in this trend, (See supra).   

The current Spanish CoE Presidency (November 2008 - May 2009) has made of the implementation of ECHR's judgements its 1st Priority.   

ECHR's President, Jean-Paul Costa, stressed in its 2009 Annual Press Conference, CoE Member States' obligation to implement the judgements, according to Article 46 of the European Convention on Human Rights.   

Moreover, if CoE's Committee of Ministers delays to ensure implementation, then, the repetition of violations in similar cases provokes a multiplication of complaints tabled to the Court, which overload the mecanism for the protection of Human Rights, denounced Costa.          

A series of Debates on "the situation of Human Rights in Europe", focusing on the "need to fight against Impunity" of perpetrators of grave crimes, is  currently prepared by CoE's Parliamentary Assembly for the session of June 2009.  

The final Timing comes shortly AFTER the EU Elections, but the main Reports should have been adopted before.

Meanwhile, French President Sarkozy and German Chancelor Merkel's recent call "for a Political Europe" in 2009 EU Elections (See earlier "correspondence from Paris, Elysee Palace), seems more and more endorsed also by other EU Countries' Top MEPs :

Thus, f.ex., EU Parliament's 1st vice-President, Greek MEP Mrs Rodi KRATSA, speaking to "EuroFora", agreed that 2009 EU Election would be a "naturally good" opportunity to debate what really interests EU Citizens : "The Future of a Political Europe, able to face the Economic Crisis, with a Culture and identity which attracts the People"

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(Photo taken earlier during Sarkozy's 1st visit at EU Parliament, in 2007 : Sarkozy and Merkel's Ideas for a Political Europe inspire also other EU politicians accross the continent)..
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