Russia denies being on European democracy watchdog’s blacklist

June 26th, 2008 - 10:14 pm ICT by IANS  

RIA Novosti
Strasbourg (France), June 26 (RIA Novosti) Russia Thursday dismissed media reports that it was on the blacklist of the European democracy watchdog, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE). “No one has tied Russia to the whipping post, and no more criticism has been hurled at us than at any other country,” said Mikhail Margelov, the PACE deputy speaker and Russian parliament’s international affairs committee chairman.

“The debate on the state of democracy in Europe… showed that the entire list of member countries could be included on a blacklist,” Margelov said, adding that the “100 percent democracy” dreamed of by human rights activists did not exist anywhere.

A senior Russian delegate, Leonid Slutsky, also denied the reports, telling RIA Novosti: “As for the so-called ‘blacklists’ reported by certain sections of the Russian media, the report on democracy in Europe and the approval of a resolution as a result of the discussion does not contain any such lists.

“The articles in the resolution that criticize Russia cannot be called ‘blacklist’ by any stretch of the imagination,” he added.

The summer session of PACE being under way in Strasbourg has been focussed on a number of issues, including Kosovo, Georgia’s elections, Azerbaijan and protests in Armenia.
RIA Novosti

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