President Muttonen welcomes Russian engagement with OSCE PA in meetings with Matvienko and Tolstoi in Moscow

2016 Christine Muttonen in Moscow Matvienko Montella 301116OSCE PA President Christine Muttonen, Federation Council Chair Valentina Matvienko and OSCE PA Secretary General Roberto Montella, Moscow, 30 Nov. 2016MOSCOW, 30 November 2016 – OSCE Parliamentary Assembly President Christine Muttonen (MP, Austria) met with Russian Federation Council Chairperson Valentina Matvienko and State Duma Deputy Chair Petr Tolstoi in Moscow this week for talks that focused on Russian involvement in the work of the OSCE PA, contribution of parliamentarians to the OSCE, and developments in and around Ukraine.

The sides also exchanged views on the OSCE’s assessment of recent Russian elections, and discussed conclusions from the OSCE PA’s Annual Session in Tbilisi last July. Muttonen was accompanied by OSCE PA Secretary General Roberto Montella.

Nikolay Kovalev, member of the Russian delegation to the OSCE PA and Special Representative on Anti-Terrorism, participated in Tuesday’s meeting with President Muttonen and Deputy Chair Tolstoi, who was representing State Duma Chairperson Vyacheslave Volodin while he was on unforeseen travel outside of the Russian Federation. Muttonen welcomed information shared by Tolstoy regarding the recent appointment of a new Russian delegation to the OSCE PA following September’s elections to the State Duma.

“Russian contributions in all areas of our work – parliamentary diplomacy, conferences, election observation – are highly valued,” Muttonen said. “Participation by the Russian delegation ensures meaningful dialogue in the Assembly. It also gives the Russian delegation the opportunity to pursue its declared objective of preventing dividing lines or reducing visa barriers.”

She pointed out that at the initiative of the Russian and Swiss delegations, the Assembly adopted a resolution at the OSCE PA’s Annual Session in Tbilisi on the unrestricted access of members of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly to all its activities.

“This resolution had an immediate impact, with Russia granting access to a member of the Dutch delegation who is on the Russian sanctions list to observe elections in Russia in September,” she said. “This was the direct result of Russian engagement in the OSCE PA.”

The President also underlined the OSCE PA’s longstanding position on the crisis in and around Ukraine. “Our parliamentarians have consistently expressed grave concern about the situation stemming from the violation of the principles enshrined in the Helsinki Final Act. We support the Minsk Agreements, and have regularly called for their full implementation,” Muttonen said.

In addition to calling for implementation of the Minsk Agreements, in the PA’s Tbilisi Declaration, the Assembly stressed the need for the OSCE’s Special Monitoring Mission to have full access to all parts of Ukraine, including the border with the Russian Federation, and for international and humanitarian organizations to be granted immediate access to Donetsk and Luhansk, the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol.

At the meeting with Federation Council Chairperson Valentina Matvienko on Wednesday, President Muttonen expressed support for the Chairperson’s proposal to organize an international parliamentary conference on combating international terrorism in St. Petersburg on 28 March 2017 and expressed the readiness of the Assembly to co-organize this conference jointly with the Interparliamentary Assembly of the Commonwealth of Independent States.

Muttonen emphasized that terrorism is one of the many important issues that parliamentarians are actively addressing in the OSCE PA, with others including the migration crisis, protecting human rights during heightened security situations, arms control and confidence-building measures and gender-sensitive politics.

The President invited Chairperson Matvienko to attend as a keynote speaker a conference that she is organizing at the Austrian Parliament on 23 March 2017 on “OSCE security policy – a female perspective.” Muttonen noted that Matvienko’s insights on this subject would be appreciated. The President also expressed hope for Russian support for the Assembly’s work in conflict resolution, and for recognition to be given to the role of the OSCE parliamentary dimension in official documents that will be considered by Foreign Ministers at the upcoming OSCE Ministerial Council in Hamburg.

President Muttonen noted that her dialogue with Russian officials will continue in Hamburg next week in a meeting scheduled with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and said that she looked forward to seeing Matvienko again at the Inter-Parliamentary Union’s Summit of Women Speakers of Parliament in Abu Dhabi on 12-13 December.

Photos from the President’s visit to Moscow are available on Flickr.



Nat Parry

Head of Communications and Press

Office: +45 33 37 80 55
Mobile: +45 60 10 81 77
Email: [email protected]

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