Member of Russian delegation to PACE criticizes draft resolution as biased

A Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) draft resolution on Russia cannot be considered impartial for its mentoring tone and the use of double standards, says Ivan Melnikov, a member of the Russian delegation to PACE and a first deputy chairman of the Russian State Duma.

"A number of this document's provisions accurately highlight Russian problems and even suggest ways of their resolution, which can be considered good. But the Russian opposition inside the country, primarily the leftist forces, regularly and consistently draw the authorities' attention to many of the problematic points counted in this document," Melnikov told Interfax.

At the same time, he said, "we cannot agree if these problems are used for publicly castigating and lecturing Russia and if they become an instrument in a global political game aimed at quite something different than the resolution of the said problems."

"A predictable and pre-programmed position of a number of countries on this draft resolution is based either on their historical antipathy toward Russia and the Russian people or anti-Russian policy of the forces that are in power in a number of countries at the moment," Melnikov said.

"This also explains deliberate partiality in monitoring, which lowers the level of objectivity in judgments," he said.

A lot of countries that are European Union and Council of Europe members have serious problems in their democratic development, which was discussed at an international conference of parliamentary chairmen from European countries in Strasbourg at the end of September, he said.

Melnikov also claimed that some conclusions, judgments, and recommendations contained in the draft resolution are based on double standards. "Double standards are regularly seen in the European approaches, which is impossible not to notice in this document as well," he said.

Melnikov said he views both of these documents, i.e. the draft resolution and a Council of Europe Committee of Ministers recommendation, as the Assembly's desire "to teach Russia for its firm position on a number of global political issues, including the situation in Syria and American-style democratization."

"This is why the Russian delegation, despite the fact that its participants have different political views, is consolidated against both the resolution and the PACE recommendation," he said.

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