Duma Foreign Affairs Chief Unfazed by anti-Russia "cold-war' resolution in US House

The resolution introduced in the US Congress to end Russia's membership in the Great Eight is a 'relic of the cold war,' Konstantin Kosachev, chairman of the State Duma's Foreign Affairs Committee, told journalists Thursday, a Rosbalt correspondent reported.

The resolution, passed out of the House Foreign Affairs Committee earlier this week but not yet considered by the House, speaks of Russia's failure to abide by 'certain democratic principles.' Kosachev said the views expressed in the proposed resolution 'do not, in any degree, reflect the official views of the US administration on the internal political situation in our country or our place in the world.'

Kosachev went on: 'Members of the Duma's Foreign Affairs Committee were surprised by the misunderstanding shown by the authors of the resolution of the mission of the Great Eight and the criteria for participation in this informal structure of the world's leading countries. Membership is not a reflection of services rendered. Russia has to be in the Great Eight because of the responsibility it has taken on in resolving today's global problems, such as, and perhaps most important, the struggle against international terrorism and the spread of weapons of mass destruction.'

Kosachev concluded: 'We see [the committee's] acceptance of the resolution as a mere episode in Russia's bilateral relations with the US that will not affect the general climate of our relations.'

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