15 June 2015 The members of the National Assembly’s Foreign Affairs Committee and the delegation of the International Affairs Committee of the State Duma of the Russian Federation
Monday, 15 June 2015
Foreign Affairs Committee Members Meet with Russian State Duma International Affairs Committee Delegation
The members of the National Assembly’s Foreign Affairs Committee met today with a delegation of the International Affairs Committee of the State Duma of the Russian Federation, headed by Committee Chairman Alexey Pushkov.
Foreign Affairs Committee Chairperson Aleksandra Djurovic said that the Serbian society has reached consensus on EU membership and both the Government and the National Assembly are conducting reforms that will bring Serbia closer to the goal, the realisation of which will in no way jeopardize the relationship between Serbia and the Russian Federation. She thanked the Russian Federation for not pressuring Serbia on the issue, opining that Serbia’s EU accession will give Russia a friend and reliable partner. Speaking of the EU sanctions against Russia, Djurovic restated that Serbia has not and will not be instating sanctions against Russia and the National Assembly fully endorses the Government’s stance. She repeated that the National Assembly delegation to PACE was unanimous regarding the Russian Federation’s disputed mandate at the organisation and remains firm in its belief that this decision contradicted the democratic principles the Council of Europe was founded on. She again thanked Russia for its support regarding the Kosovo issue, especially its support in the United Nations.
The Foreign Affairs Committee Chairperson said that the people proudly remember the fight against fascism, evidenced in the Russian President’s attendance at the military parade in Belgrade marking the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Belgrade, and the presence of the Serbian President and military personnel at the recent parade in Moscow. She said she was sure that the trade between the two countries will increase, that Russian companies will invest into Serbia, and that some of the energy projects will be realised. Djurovic also added that the Parliamentary Friendship Group with Russia in the National Assembly boasts 127 members, which best reflects the MPs’ interest in cooperation with their Russian colleagues.
The Chairman of the International Affairs Committee of the State Duma of the Russian Federation, Alexey Pushkov said that cooperation between Serbia and Russia is intensive at all levels, particularly their parliamentary contacts and cooperation, especially in view of the decrease in Russian parliamentary contacts with colleagues in Europe. He informed the members of the National Assembly’s Foreign Affairs Committee about the Russian Duma’s initiative to set up an interparliamentary commission which would further the relationship between the two parliaments and address cooperation issues at all levels. He hopes the commission will be established soon, so that the State Duma could have the pleasure of welcoming its Serbian colleagues in autumn. He opined that Serbia’s position that it would be a reliable partner to Russia once it becomes an EU member is a positive one. Speaking of the cooperation between the two countries in international organisations, Pushkov said that Russia will endorse Serbia’s candidacy for Council of Europe PA Secretary General and asked for the support of Serbia’s delegation to OSCE PA for the two resolution drafts Russia is to submit at the next session: on the prevention of neo-Nazism and on the annulment of sanctions for parliamentarians.
Pushkov said that the interparliamentary commission could, besides parliamentary topics, tackle matters such as energy projects and trade and invited Serbia to use the opportunity for the placement of agricultural products in Russia, because Russia would not loosen the embargo on agricultural products from the European Union.
The Chairperson of the National Assembly’s Foreign Affairs Committee applauded the initiative to set up an interparliamentary commission and thanked Russia for the support of Serbia’s candidacy for PACE Secretary General.
Foreign Affairs Committee member and the Head of the National Assembly’s delegation to OSCE PA Dijana Vukomanovic said that the colleagues from the Serbian delegation would vote for the draft resolutions according to their own conscience and political beliefs. She said that Serbia has in the past paid a high price for its positions, but it is well aware of its responsibility for the stability and peace in the Balkans, as well as of the overall Euro-Atlantic and Euro-Asian relations.
In addition to Foreign Affairs Committee Chairperson Aleksandra Djurovic, the meeting was also attended by MPs Marija Obradovic, Dijana Vukomanovic, Ljubisa Stojmirovic, Borislav Kovacevic, Dragomir Karic and Dusica Stojkovic, and the delegation of the International Affairs Committee of the State Duma of the Russian Federation, besides Chairman Alexey Pushkov, also comprised Svetlana Zhurova, First Deputy Chairperson and Frants Klintsevich, Defence Policy Committee member.