Russia withdrawing from Baltic Sea Parliamentary Conference - State Duma speaker
MOSCOW. May 16 (Interfax) - State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin said on Monday that the lower house's Council has decided on Russia's withdrawal from the Baltic Sea Parliamentary Conference (BSPC).
"Today, the State Duma Council made a decision on Russia's withdrawal from the Baltic Sea Parliamentary Conference," Volodin is quoted as saying on the State Duma's website on Monday.
The permanent members of the Baltic Sea Parliamentary Conference are the parliaments of Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, and Sweden, and, as Volodin noted, there is "no dialogue today with lawmakers from most of these countries either in the format of this organization or via interparliamentary channels."
"Responsibility for disrupting parliamentary ties lies with those who undermine the fundamental principles of the Conference and use it to attack Russia," the State Duma speaker also said.
He noted that the BSPC's activity has always been built on an equal basis and decisions were taken by consensus, but "the Baltic Sea Parliamentary Conference has halted real cooperation and the member countries have forgotten about the interests of their own citizens."
"A once useful format of multilateral dialogue has been turned into an instrument of anti-Russian policy. It makes no sense to have further interaction within the BSPC," the State Duma speaker said.