Chairman of the State Duma Committee on International Affairs Leonid Slutsky following a press conference on the results of the PACE winter session:
“The session was, despite all the problematic issues, successful. In politics as in sports, one must compare oneself with oneself. The Russian delegation integrates step by step into the PACE workflow and regains its influence in the Assembly after a 5-year absence.
Very good results on the vote on the confirmation of the credentials of the delegation of the Russian Federation. It is significant that the Baltic Plus group remained in the minority, and the national delegations of the countries of “developed democracies” such as Italy, Germany, France (the main payers) and others voted unanimously for ratification of the powers of Russia in the Assembly. We actively worked with all the strange delegations. The more of us among them, the more of them among us. But this is not a reason for dizziness from success, we are moving forward, and the Russian line is bearing fruit.
We are ready for a constructive consideration of all problems and for discussions, including on the Crimean issue. In Crimea, of course, perhaps we are doomed to disputes in PACE for a long time to come. But I dare to suggest that in 10-15 years, and maybe even earlier, the number of those who agree with our position, having studied the history of the peninsula and having talked with the Russian delegation to PACE, will increase significantly.
I am sure that without utopias, it is in the Assembly, as the most widespread European parliamentary platform, that those who will support Russia on the Crimean issue will most likely manifest themselves. And this will become a factor of powerful positive feedback for recognizing Crimea as Russian. One must be realistic – this will not happen today and not tomorrow, but it will certainly happen. ”