Russia will not heed some of PACE demands

Russia will not obey some of the demands put forward by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), particularly the one that deals with the Pussy Riot case, Chairman of the State Duma International Affairs Committee told a press conference at Interfax's central office on Thursday.

"The desire of the Council of Europe to keep Russia under pressure and monitoring has failed to win our support, including a demand to review the Pussy Riot case. It's a court ruling that no one in Europe would think of reviewing, and I doubt that it would be reviewed in our country," he said.

As for the demand to fulfill the previous PACE resolutions on Georgia, "it actually means that Abkhazia and South Ossetia would have to give up their independence and sovereignty."

PACE has repeatedly urged Russia "to retract its recent legislative changes that were inspired, above all, by the experience of European countries," Pushkov said. "One gets the impression that they don't know their own laws. In Germany, calls for violence during a rally fetch a 15,000-euro fine. The use of force against law enforcement officers is punishable by a prison term of up to three years. A sortie a la Pussy Riot carries three years in prison."

Therefore, the PACE resolution is "not sufficiently realistic and sets forth demands that Russia cannot fulfill," Pushkov said. Russia will "perceive this resolution as a certain amount of wishes reflecting a common position of the West, but on which we will not find common ground," he added.

"That does not mean that we will restrict our activity in PACE. We will use our participation to explain the situation and to show that there is certain progress, that an increasing number of people in PACE treat Russia calmly, without ideological shudder," Pushkov said.

Earlier this week, PACE approved a draft resolution containing a number of demands to Russia, which it is planning to pass during its autumn session on Oct. 2.

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