Dialogue with Russia an imperative - PACE committee head

Chief of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe's Monitoring Committee Stefan Schennach said dialogue with Russia must be continued as Russia could help establish peace in Europe.

He said in an interview with Russia Today television in remarks about PACE's decision to suspend Russia's voting right until April 2015, that peace and development would be unachievable in Europe without Russia's participation, or in a conflict with Russia.

PACE's decision was rather tough, but dialogue with Russia, as a member of the Council of Europe, remains important, he said. Dialogue is a must because Russia is a European country and a member of the Council of Europe. No military solution exists in eastern Ukraine, Schennach said.

If anyone thinks that there is a shortage of trust then bridges should be raised, he said, adding that he remained hopeful that dialogue would be established with Russia. He also said he would resume efforts in this direction on Monday.

PACE on January 28 blamed Russia for inciting tensions in eastern Ukraine and voted to extend the decision to suspend Russia's voting right and membership in its leading bodies, made in April 2014, until April 2015.

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