Valentina Matviyenko: Russia is interested in expanding cooperation with Bosnia and Herzegovina in all areas

The Federation Council Speaker has met with collegium members of the House of Peoples and the House of Representatives of the Parliamentary Assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina

During an official visit to Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), Federation Council Speaker Valentina Matviyenko met with collegium members of the House of Peoples and the House of Representatives of the Parliamentary Assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina (PA BiH), headed by House of Peoples Speaker Ognjen Tadic.

The meeting was attended by Deputy Speaker of the Federation Council Ilyas Umakhanov, Chair of the Federation Council Committee on Defence and Security Viktor Bondarev, Chair of the Federation Council Committee on International Affairs Konstantin Kosachev, Chair of the Federation Council Committee on Agriculture and Food Policy and Environmental Management Mikhail Shchetinin, Chair of the Federation Council Committee on Social Policy Valery Ryazansky, and Deputy Chair of the Federation Council Committee on International Affairs Alexander Babakov.

“We attach great importance to the visit. We are interested in deepening and expanding our interaction with Bosnia and Herzegovina in all spheres. The Russian delegation composed of high-ranking officials is confirmation of this intent,” Valentina Matviyenko said.

The Federation Council Speaker spoke highly of the friendly nature of Russian-Bosnian relations. “We highly appreciate the balanced policy of BiH in the international arena, and its firm refusal to join the sanctions against Russia,” the upper house speaker said.

Valentina Matviyenko noted a high level of interaction between the two countries’ ministries and agencies. “I am sure that our legislatures can make a greater contribution to the development of cooperation by doing it on a systematic basis,” she added.

In particular, she also spoke about expanding economic ties, adding that the potential of such contacts is much greater than what we have now. She noted the need to diversify economic relations by actively involving small and medium-sized businesses in this process.

She called attention to the importance of consolidating the legal framework of Russian-Bosnian relations. “The cooperation between parliamentarians would be very relevant here,” she stressed. She also mentioned a number of agreements that are still in the works and stalling, and proposed to take this process under parliamentary control.

“An important reserve for cooperation is contacts between specific regions,” she said.

She also proposed to coordinate the work of Russian and BiH parliamentarians on international parliamentary platforms.

The Federation Council Speaker invited the PA BiH members to attend the Second Eurasian Women’s Forum in St Petersburg.

Concerning cultural and humanitarian ties, Valentina Matviyenko noted that Moscow is ready to consider Sarajevo’s proposals for expanding them. “We are ready to expand contacts, including by assisting in providing scholarships to BiH students who study at Russian universities.”

Ognjen Tadic noted PA BiH’s common position aimed at developing relations with Russian colleagues and with Russia in general.

“We support the signing of interstate agreements as soon as possible, including agreements on employment, on social guarantees, on economic and energy cooperation,” he said.

Earlier, Valentina Matviyenko laid a wreath and flowers at the Eternal Flame memorial and commemorative plaque dedicated to Russian diplomat Vitaly Churkin.