CSTO Parliamentary Assembly’s Session: Agenda and Outcomes

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St. Petersburg has hosted a session of the CSTO Parliamentary Assembly, with concerted efforts to address today’s global challenges topping the agenda among other issues.

At the opening ceremony, Vyacheslav Volodin, Chairman of the CSTO Parliamentary Assembly, urged all the parties to cement closer ties with Europe’s parliamentary assemblies, namely the Council of Europe and the OSCE. “We could greatly benefit from inter-parliamentary cooperation. The CSTO Parliamentary Assembly and PACE provide meaningful platforms for joint decisions on neutralizing international threats,” he said.

The State Duma’s Speaker rightly pointed to “some political differences between particular member-states and Western partners”. However, he argued that “this should not prevent either party from adopting common procedures and similar security legislation and from encouraging information cooperation and experience exchange”.

Elaborating on today’s challenges and dangers, Volodin highlighted their increasingly universal character. As he put it, “No country – even the most powerful – can confront the threats on its own. Combating the evil requires our joint efforts. Actually, the CSTO as an international institution was set up to effectively respond to new global challenges. At the same time, I believe that it would be reasonable to promote regional cooperation and the relevant best practices, especially while dealing with Europe, where all the problems have recently emerged full-blown”.

Besides, a proposal to establish general criteria for terrorist or extremist designation was submitted to the CSTO members. “It looks necessary to set a general legislative framework for certain organizations to be designated as terrorist or extremist groupings, which will prepare ground for compiling a unified CSTO list of terrorist groups”, said Volodin. He added that “these steps are needed in furtherance of harmonization of national legislation and legal frameworks regulating efforts to combat terrorism and extremism, adopted on November 26, 2015”.

Photo: RIA. Vladimir Fedorenko

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