MOSCOW, November 16. Russia may change its attitude to the Council of Europe in the case that the parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) will not cancel entered against the Russian parliamentarians sanctions, said the Federation Council speaker Valentina Matvienko.
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Anna Isakova/press service of the state Duma of the Russian Federation/TASS
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“Russia is ready to return to the Assembly, but only if full-length, full restoration of the rights of our parliamentary delegation. Speech in this point goes about the waiver of contributions to the Council of Europe, as Russian funds generally support the work of the entire structure of this influential international organization. However, if the Russian delegation will not return the right to vote in PACE, it could affect our attitude towards the Council of Europe as a whole”, – said Matvienko in an interview with “Izvestia”.
According to her, it is obvious that “the PACE lost from the absence at its meetings, the delegation of Russia, which had always taken an active part in the work, initiated many interesting proposals and discussions that enriched the work of this parliamentary forum”.
Sanctions against the Russian delegation in PACE in the form of deprivation of the right to vote, the right to participate in meetings of statutory bodies and in monitoring activities were introduced in April 2014 in connection with events in Ukraine and the reunification of the Crimea with Russia. On January 28 PACE decided to extend sanctions against the Russian delegation and strip it to the April voting rights and participation in decision-making bodies. After that, the delegation of the Russian Federation until the end of this year, ceased to participate in PACE.
As announced on 12 November the head of the Duma Committee on international Affairs Alexei Pushkov, has not yet solved the issue with the lifting of sanctions, “the issue of returning to work full time in PACE”.