Speaker Mironov: Belarus joining Council of Europe imminent

Speaker of the Federation Council (upper chamber of Russian parliament) Sergei Mironov is sure: "very soon" the entry of Belarus into the Council of Europe will emerge on the agenda.

"Then, we will see the time when greater Europe becomes a common home for all without exception," he said, answering questions from journalists.

At a meeting on Thursday with Secretary General of the Council of Europe Walter Schwimmer, Sergei Mironov emphasized the need of "making efforts towards the earliest unfreezing of the Belarussian application for full-fledged EC membership and rehabilitation of its status." He spoke of the same at a session of the congress of local and regional European authorities.

Mironov said Schwimmer had agreed with the need to "go on working in this direction." So far, no breakthrough is soon to be expected in this matter, Mironov believes. "We think the isolation of any state cannot bring about positive democratic changes. Contrarily, they are prompted by the state's being involved in common integration processes," said Sergei Mironov.

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