President calls for parliamentary dialogue and co-operation between all 47 member states

Speaking at the end of a two-day visit to Moscow, PACE President Pedro Agramunt stressed the need to promote parliamentary dialogue and co-operation between all 47 member states of the Council of Europe.

“Dialogue is very important for me. As elected parliamentarians representing our citizens, we must keep communication channels open and explore all possibilities for dialogue offered by parliamentary diplomacy,” said the PACE President.

Speaking about the challenges Europe is facing, the PACE President underlined their global nature and the need for a joint and co-ordinated response by all member states of the Organisation. “We must work together and in synergy to address the common challenges with which we are confronted, in particular the refugee crisis and combating international terrorism. I have stressed this in my address to the General Assembly of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Black Sea Economic Co-operation, highlighting some initiatives that PACE is taking regarding the refugee crisis and the fight against international terrorism,” said Mr Agramunt.

The relationship between the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and the Russian Parliament was also at the heart of the President’s discussions. “Russia is a member state of the Council of Europe. Russia matters because without its active contribution, we cannot effectively fight terrorism. We cannot seek a solution to the crisis in Syria. We cannot resolve the crisis in Ukraine,” stressed the PACE President.

“On 24 June 2016, the Bureau of the Assembly adopted a declaration reaffirming the role of the Assembly as a pan-European forum for inter-parliamentary cooperation among parliamentarians from all 47 member States of the Council of Europe. We have to keep communication channels open with the Russian parliament and explore all possibilities for dialogue offered by parliamentary diplomacy. I am looking forward to the continuation of our contact with the leadership and members of the Russian Parliament,” concluded the PACE President.

During his visit, Mr Agramunt held several high-level meetings, in particular with the Speaker of the Russian State Duma, Sergey Naryshkin, the Speaker of Russia's Federation Council, Valentina Matvienko, the Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the State Duma, Alexey Pushkov, and with the Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Federation Council, Konstantin Kosachev.