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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

Pisac ACM
26. 04. 2018.
leonid_slutsky_to_journalists_including_eurofora_5_400


*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.

 

 leonid_slutsky_to_journalists_including_eurofora_6_400

 

- 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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 slovenian__croatian_presidents_at_coe_400

    The recent paradox of freezing EU Talks with front-runner Croatia, while continuing controversial EU - Turkey talks, despite Zagreb's acceptance of Refugees' Human Rights to return, that Ankara refuses fex. in Cyprus, while both have "Good Neighborhood" problems vis a vis Slovenia, or Greece, Cyprus and Armenia respectively, can it be justified by the non-fullfilment of EU criteria, as Slovenia says, or, is it "Double Standards" ?    

The question became unavoidable after statements by Presidents of Slovenia and Croatia, Tuerk and Mesic, respectively, to "EuroFora", exclusively or among Strasbourg's journalists this week at the CoE, on the sidelines of its 2009 Summer University for Political Schools, which topically brought them together as successive key-note speakers.


    Comming only a few Months before EU checks Turkey's compliance to its commitments on Cyprus, etc., scheduled for December 2009, this obviously has a special importance for the coherence of EU Enlargement's principles.

     Suspension of EU Negotiations is a normal consequence in case of a Candidate Country's failure to fullfil EU Conditions, such as "Good Neighborhood relations", stressed at first Slovenian President Danilo Tuerk, current CoE's chair.

    But, regarding EU's Criteria,  there shouldn't be any "Double Standards",  reacted Croatian President Stjepan Mesic, commenting the fact that Turkey's controversial EU negotiations continue, while they were recently "freezed" in the case of Croatia, an "unquestionably European Country", which oficially accepts to respect Refugees Human Rights, contrary to Ankara's notorious refusals or reluctance.                                       

imag0475_400
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           - "EU itself has set as a Criterium (for EU Enlargement) the "Good Neighborhood relations",  and their absence justifies the "Suspension" EU Negotiations, (f.ex. with Croatia), because of a Border dispute affecting the territorial integrity of an EU Member Country, stressed Slovenian President, Danilo Tuerk, CoE's Chairman in office (May - November 2009), speaking to Journalists in Strasbourg including "EuroFora".    

Questioned earlier what "consequences on EU's Enlargement policy" can have the "Ban on EU Membership Negotiations", imposed to Croatia, Tuerk replied that "this question comes down to the fulfillement of (EU) Criteria for membership. One has to look at each Candidate Country ., from the point of view whether it fullfils the Criteria that EU has set. One of them are Good Neighborhood Relations, I'd like to remind. And also, there are other factors, such as Justice, Home affairs, Rule of Law, and others".


    - "Now, ..Candidate Countries are at Different Levels of fulfillement of Criteria", he observed.

    - " Croatia is obviously the closest to that. I'm rather optimistic : I think that in the coming Months we'll have an opportunity to look at all these issues constructively and hopefully we'll be able to make progress". "My main concern, at this point, is the situation in Bosnia : We haven't seen enough progres domesticaly. We haven't seen enough during ..political parties within their country.We need a New Energy, a new energetic move towards the Candidature for EU membership. "Other (Western Balkan) Countries (Serbia, Montenegro, FYROM, Albania) have been making soaring Progress, and I think that they should be ready, in a few Years, for the Candidate status".

    - "As far as the Western Balkans are concerned, .. nobody should be left outside" the EU, Slovenian's President concluded, ommitting to mention Turkey's controversial EU bid.

    - "This process may be seen as Slow, but..  Slovenia has also has also been exposed to various "Booms of Slowness" in our accession period. But now we can say that the process was relatively quick, because changes which occur after becoming EU member, are quite large, and they require proper Preparations before the (EU) membership becomes a new factor, an impacting line for a new (EU) member country".
----------------------------

EU "Solidarity" ?
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Slovenian statements made some participants from certain 3rd Countries as FYROM, etc. claim that "the Principle of EU Solidarity" would "produce a.. rising European Union Nationalism (sic !), against Non-EU Countries", as they said, asking unhappy foreign countries to form a "bloc" to exert pressure on the EU...    

But Croatian President Stjepan Mesic dismissed that, supporting "EU Integration", "after the Economy also in Political" issues, as "the achievement" of our times. In EU there is "diversity, but it's United", he stressed, "EU has to be United so that it can become a central factor of Peace" also at the surrounding areas, he replied.

croatian_president_mesic_ 

Speaking later exclusively to "EuroFora", the experienced twice President of Croatia, former President of the International "Non-Aligned" movement, denounced "Double Standards" in the way EU treats recently Croatia compared to Turkey :   

 - "I think that there shouldn't be Double Standards", stressed the Croatian President, in reply to a Question comparing the freeze of EU - Croatia talks, with the continuation of EU - Turkey talks, despite the fact that Croatia is an "unquestionably European country", while Turkey's EU bid is notoriously controversial.


    Mesic was reacting to the observation that, even if he confirmed his "respect of Refugees' Human Rights to return, etc. (See infra), nevertheless, EU talks are suspended with Croatia.. While for oher, controversial candidates, who refuse to respect Refugees' Rights to return, etc., as fex. Turkey does in occupied Cyprus and elsewhere, EU negotiations continue".

    - "I believe that Croatia's accession will confirm that all European Countries who fulfill all of the Conditions and achieve European Standards, have to join the EU. There shouldn't be any Double Standards", went on to add in reply President Mesic.

    In this relation, Croatia's President found "of paramount importance", CoE's "mechanisms enforcing ECHR's judgements"
    
    - "On Refugees and Displaced persons, the process will be completed only after the last person demanding to return will be allowed to do so !", President Mesic Croatia stressed earlier, setting a general standard of obvious importance also for otherr candidates, as f.ex. Turkey, often accused to exclude or heavily restrict Greek Cypriot Displaced persons' return to their Family Homes and ancestral land, provoke difficulties to Turkish-Kurd IDPs return to their home regions at the South-East, etc.

    Some "2.000 People are still reported Missing" in former Yugoslavia, for some Years, (as in Cyprus, modern Europe's oldest case, for 3 Decades. Nagorno-Karabach, Tcecnya in Russia, etc, more recently), and Investigations "will only be completed after establishing the fate of the last one of them", he added.
    
    Speaking earlier on "War Crimes", President Mesic stressed that "Leaders are responsible for (the) Wars (of the Past), not the People", and called against Impunity :  "Individuals have to be held Responsible for Crimes. International Penal Tribunals have to persecute those individuals", perpetrators of War Crimes, he underlined.

    Such statements naturally made Mesic rather popular at ECHR, whose President, French EuroJudge, Professor Jean-Paul Costa, looked particularly smiling when he welcomed him later on Wednesday afternoon, after Slovenian President Daniko Tuerk earlier this week.
           

***

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