28 October 2011 - NATO PA LEADERS TO VISIT MOSCOW
Assembly President Dr. Karl A. Lamers (Germany) will lead a visit to Moscow from 1 to 2 November by the Assembly’s most senior political leaders.
The 12-member delegation - which includes four Assembly Vice-Presidents and two former Presidents – is making the first Assembly visit to Russia since 2006.
The Assembly has been steadily re-engaging with its Russian delegation after limiting contacts in the wake of the conflict betweenRussiaandGeorgiain 2008.
Speaking ahead of the visit, Dr Lamers said, “Cooperation withRussiais not merely an option, but the only alternative. FromAfghanistanto arms control to counterterrorism, there are plenty of examples of how cooperation withRussiacan enhance our common security. Of course, we have differences and we will discuss these frankly. But we should not let them prevent us from working together in those many areas where cooperation benefits us all.”
“I am very much looking forward to this visit”, Dr Lamers added. “I hope that it will enable us to get our message across that we have a strong desire to build a cooperative relationship withRussia, to work together in the many areas where our strategic interests coincide, and to hold frank discussions on those matters where we disagree. And I hope we will hear a similarly positive message from our Russian counterparts.”
The first day of the visit is being organized by the Russian Federal Assembly and will include meetings with the Chairs of the Russian State Duma, Boris GRYZLOV, and the Federation Council, Valentina MATVIYENKO; Deputy Foreign Minister, Alexander GROUSCHKO; Deputy Minister of Defence, Anatoly ANTONOV, and Assistant Head of the Security Council, Evgeniy LUKYANOV.
On the second day, the delegation will meet with officials of the NATO Information Office in Moscow, embassy representatives, Moscow-based journalists, academics, NGOs and opposition representatives.
The Russian Federationis an Associate Member of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly. Its ten-member delegation is led by Duma Deputy Speaker Mrs Lubov SLISKA and Federation Council Member Viktor OZEROV. The delegation participates in Assembly Sessions, the NATO-Russia Parliamentary Committee, and many other Assembly activities throughout the year.
The Assembly’s first visit to Moscowtook place in July 1989. Two participants from that visit – Loïc BOUVARD (France) and José LELLO (Portugal) – subsequently became Presidents of the Assembly and both are participating in next week’s visit.