RUSSIALINK: “Volodin favors giving up blacklists for sake of developing Russia-U.S. relationship” – Interfax

Russian State Duma Building file photo

MOSCOW. July 4 (Interfax) – State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin has suggested that Russia and the United States forsake “blacklists” and “iron curtains” of all kinds to promote cooperation between the two countries.

“As for the blacklists, this is what our counterparts from the [U.S.] Congress thought up in their hot heads – we have to cool down and walk away from these lists,” Volodin told reporters on Wednesday when asked about his meeting with U.S. congressmen in the State Duma the day before.

Blacklisted parliamentarians from both sides attended that meeting, but that did not stop anybody from socializing, and the question of applying those lists to parliamentarians was eventually put beyond the scope of discussion, Volodin said.

It was good that “inter-parliamentary discussions” finally started on Tuesday, he said. “Otherwise, it is simply absurd when meetings are held between the heads of executive power – the presidents have met – and the parliaments are shut up from communicating,” he said.

During the Tuesday meeting, Volodin explicitly stated that relations between the Russian parliament and the U.S. Congress are non-existent. “We have always been open,” while the Congress has “dropped the curtain,” he said.

Volodin expressed confidence that to promote interaction, the sides need to “walk away from the lists,” pull back “the curtain,” and “communicate more.” It is good that U.S. senators and congressmen took a step toward Russian parliamentarians on Tuesday, Volodin said.