Valentina Matvienko

Valentina Matvienko

Chairperson of the Council of the Federation
Vyacheslav Volodin

Vyacheslav Volodin

Chairperson of the State Duma

To the participants and guests of the 137th Inter-Parliamentary Union Assembly

Parliamentarians, politicians, state officials of Russia, and the whole Russian society commend the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) which unites the parliaments of most of the countries of the world for its decision to hold the 137th IPU Assembly in St. Petersburg.

We express our sincere gratitude for this decision and extend a warm welcome to the participants and guests of the 137th IPU Assembly.

Founded in 1889, the IPU is the oldest international parliamentarian organization. Throughout its history, the IPU has seen its mission as that of facilitating the establishment and improvement of parliamentary institutions, promoting principles and norms of international law, and encouraging cooperation of States and peoples. Russia fully shares this view.

We, the Russian parliamentarians, consider it the cornerstone of our entire work to organize and hold the 137th IPU Assembly. We are convinced that this Assembly will deliver on all expectations and make progress on dealing with issues, differences and conflicts all around the world. Humanity is tired of living in uncertainty and anxiety arising from the tensions in relations between States and their coalitions. It is the duty of parliamentarians as representatives of the people to actively counter challenges and threats to the world and humankind.

We, the Russian parliamentarians, will do our utmost to ensure that the Assembly in St. Petersburg is held in an atmosphere of openness and equal exchange of opinions between all the participants so as to promote the values of democracy, human rights and freedoms, interfaith and inter-ethnic accord, and strengthen global and regional security.

St. Petersburg is rightly considered as Russia's cultural capital and among the most beautiful cities in the world. Participants and guests of the 137th IPU Assembly will have an opportunity to get acquainted with world renowned historical and cultural monuments, outstanding artworks, and also to visit famous museums and grand palaces, parks and architectural sites. They will personally experience the hospitality of the residents of St. Petersburg, as well as that of the Russian people in general.

The Assembly will be held in the Tavricheskiy Palace, the cradle of Russian parliamentarism. It was here that the first permanent elected Parliament in the history of the Russian State was housed. The Palace is the headquarters of the Interparliamentary Assembly of member nations of the Commonwealth of Independent States (IPA CIS), an international parliamentary organization which brings together the legislative bodies of the countries that emerged in the post-Soviet era.

The Russian Parliament collaborates actively with the IPU Secretariat to ensure the success of the 137th IPU Assembly. Making this Assembly a resounding success for parliaments and the international community will primarily depend on the goodwill and efforts of all concerned.

We will be glad to welcome the delegations of all IPU Members and Associate Members, as well as observers and guests to St. Petersburg.