Russian NGOs should play bigger role on world stage — foreign minister
Itar-Tass, Mar 13
BBC Monitoring Former Soviet Union
Text of report by Russian news agency ITAR-TASS
Moscow, 13 March: The Russian Foreign Ministry “is keen to see civil society participate more vigorously in international affairs”, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said today at the end of his meeting with the leadership of the foreign policy commission of the Russian Public Chamber.
“We are keen to see Russian NGOs widen their presence at international forums, as well as gain advisory status at the UN and cooperate with the OSCE and the Council of Europe,” he said. “Our NGOs should gain status and become a commanding presence, just as NGOs from Western states,” the minister said.
In Lavrov’s opinion, “this enriches foreign policy and policy decisions”. “We are willing to help and assist this process in every way,” the Russian foreign minister said. He expressed confidence that “the Public Chamber is keen to see the Russian public show a more active interest in world affairs”.
Sergey Lavrov said the meeting discussed the events to be held by the Public Chamber, including as part of the G8 summit, and the meetings with the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and the Arctic Council. He stressed that “we have a mutual interest”.
Source: ITAR-TASS news agency, Moscow, in Russian 1315 gmt 13 Mar 06