Russian parliament speaker boycotts PACE session in France
Speaker of Russia's State Duma, or the lower house of parliament, said Thursday that he will not attend a session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) in France in October, Xinhua reported.
Sergei Naryshkin said that he boycotted the session due to be held in Strasbourg on Oct. 1-5 because PACE planned to discuss a draft resolution which Moscow regarded was "unacceptably tough" and "humiliating."
The draft resolution, tabled by Switzerland and Romania, slammed Moscow for alleged violations of obligations as a member of the PACE and voiced concerns over a number of new laws adopted by Russia in recent months, including restrictions on activities of non-government organizations which are financed from abroad.
"I believe it will be possible for me to address the PACE session when the environment is appropriate," Naryshkin told reporters.
"As the PACE session approaches, we felt that my strategic proposals would be unlikely to be heard by PACE leaders and Russophobia delegations," he said.
Naryshkin originally planned to address the PACE next Monday and the discussions over the draft were slated for Tuesday, according to the schedule posted on the PACE website.