Many OSCE Lawmakers Back Russia, Oppose Sanctions – Russian Delegate

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Whereas some countries' lawmakers criticize sanctions and encourage Russia, others will harbor anti-Russia sentiment whatever Moscow may do. Canada and Ukraine are likely to float anti-Russia resolutions at the OSCE PA summer session.

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MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Many lawmakers in the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly (OSCE PA) support Russia and oppose sanctions imposed upon it following the start of the Ukrainian conflict, a Russian delegate said Tuesday.

"We’ve heard loads of words of encouragement for Russia and criticism of sanctions, as well as sensible arguments against sanctions. But several countries will harbor anti-Russia sentiment whatever Russia may do…," Nikolai Kovalyov, Russian lower-house parliamentary member and the head of the country's delegation to the winter OSCE session, told RIA Novosti.

Last year, the United States, the European Union and their allies imposed several rounds of sanctions against the Russian economy and several political figures over Moscow’s alleged actions in Ukraine. The UN estimates that over 6,200 people have died in clashes in Ukraine since April 2014.

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Both Russia and Ukraine are members of the OSCE security group. Kovalyov criticized Ukrainian lawmakers in the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly for their non-cooperative stance. He said, "this [attitude] puzzles the OSCE PA. They see and realize that Russia is open to dialogue, while Ukrainians are not."

The OSCE lawmaker assembly will convene in the Finnish capital of Helsinki in early July. The group comprises 57 member states spanning the globe including North America, Europe and Asia, with more than a billion people. Its parliamentary assembly comprises 323 delegates.

Ukraine, Canada to Float Anti-Russia Resolutions at OSCE PA Session

Ukraine and Canada are determined to submit anti-Russia resolutions to the discussion of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe Parliamentary Assembly (OSCE PA) summer session, but it is unclear if they will get enough signatures to put them to a vote, Nikolai Kovalyov said.

The OSCE Parliamentary Assembly summer session will be held in Helsinki, Finland July 5-9. The speaker of the State Duma, lower house of Russian Parliament, Sergei Naryshkin, is expected to head the Russian delegation at the session.

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"The most anti-Russian [resolutions] will be introduced by Ukraine and Canada. It is unclear whether they will be considered or adopted, as according to the internal regulations, the delegations should sign them. There are some difficulties with the signatories at the moment," Kovalyov, the head of the country's delegation at the winter OSCE session, told RIA Novosti.

To put the resolution to vote, at least 20 delegation members from four countries must sign.

According to the parliamentarian, who is expected to be a member of Russia's delegation at the summer OSCE session, the delegation plans to submit at least five resolutions. Kovalyov has not disclosed the content of the Russian documents.

Russia's relations with Kiev and the West deteriorated in 2014 over Moscow's alleged involvement in the ongoing crisis in eastern Ukraine.

Moscow has firmly denied the claims and repeatedly urged a political settlement of the conflict.

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