MOSCOW, 5 February. The Chairman of the Federation Council Committee on international Affairs Konstantin Kosachev called largely discriminatory and excessive commitments made by Russia when joining the Council of Europe.
“It seems to me that at that time the conditions on which Russia joined the Council of Europe (COE), the commitments made by Russia when joining the Council of Europe, was largely discriminatory against our country’s character, unnecessary,” said the Senator, speaking at a meeting of round table “20 years of Russia’s membership in the Council of Europe: outcomes and perspectives”.
Pushkov: the cooperation with the Council of Europe without establishing relations with the PACE impossible
Kosachev: Russia in response to the letter of the heads of the chambers of Parliament expects the PACE of meaningful dialogue
The Russian foreign Ministry: the non-participation of the Russian delegation in the PACE is a loss for the organization
Kosachev reminded that Russia joined the Council of Europe on 28 February 1996. According to him, the relevant documents were signed by the then Russian foreign Minister Yevgeny Primakov, who at that time were in this position not more than a month. “And we can safely say that all negotiations and subsequent formats of participation of the Russian Federation in the activity of CE was determined in the preceding part of the logic of Russian foreign policy, which is often associated with the name of the predecessor Yevgeny Maksimovich (Primakov) Andrei Vladimirovich Kozyrev”, he stressed.
The head of the international Committee of the Federation Council is sure that Russia is still experiencing the consequences of romantic expectations from its participation in the Council of Europe. “We got commitments, which did not took over many other States that had joined the organization around the same time,” he explained. Kosachev added that the monitoring of the implementation by Russia of commitments made when joining the Council of Europe 20 years ago, continues against the Russian Federation so far. “And end this procedure is not visible, because, as you know, over these 20 years, we have our partners in the Council of Europe in General and PACE in particular has managed to additionally hang even a large set of obligations, which, in principle, the Russian Federation did not agree and were not accepted”, – said the Senator.
This Senator believes that Russia should proceed with the interaction in all dimensions of the Council of Europe, including the parliamentary. “Membership in the Council of Europe responds to the national interests of the Russian Federation. We must, despite all the upheavals of recent times, to continue to engage in all dimensions of the activities of the Council of Europe, including parliamentary and,” – said Kosachev.
According to the head of the Federation Council Committee, the parliamentary dimension “in no way casts doubt on the feasibility of an active Russian participation in the activities of the Council of Europe as an intergovernmental organization”. “And most importantly from our participation – benefit for the state, to society, to Russian citizens in the end”, he said. “And it seems to me that this is an important discussion that must be heard in the Council of Europe, must be heard in PACE so that we were able to overcome the differences that now exist and could move forward,” said Kosachev, stressing that for Russia “and Council of Europe in General, and the PACE continues to be very interesting and potentially very promising”.
“The Council of Europe is a multi – functional organization”
The Russian foreign Ministry believe that the Council of Europe is able to make non-politicized opinions and objective reports. “I would like to stress that the Council of Europe is a multi – functional organization that has high expertise, which often enables to make a competent and non-politicized conclusions”, – said the Deputy foreign Minister of Russia Alexei Meshkov.
The Russian foreign Ministry: Russia considers the report of the COE contribution to efforts to investigate the tragedy in Odessa
According to a senior diplomat, speaking, in particular, on the preparation of the report of the International Advisory group established at the initiative of the Secretary-General of the Council of Europe Thorbjorn Jagland, is devoted to the investigation of the tragedy in Odessa on may 2, 2014.
The report, as recalled Bags, was published in November 2015. “The report confirmed those findings that we’ve done for a long time: conducted by the Ukrainian authorities pseudorelevance does not meet the requirements of the European Convention on human rights and fundamental freedoms,” said Sacks.
The diplomat also said that Russia joined 60 of 219 conventions of the Council of Europe during his participation in this organization. “The direct question whether we need to join 20 years ago in the Council of Europe, I would say that Yes, it is necessary to join, said Sacks. – First of all, because, according to article 1 of the Charter of the Council of Europe, within its competence includes all the issues, except for issues of national defense. The potential of this organization is diverse: from human rights to counter terrorism”.
According to the diplomat, the membership has given Russia the opportunity to join the development of Council of Europe conventions, which “are not just political declarations, as part of national law”. “Russia over the years joined the 60 of the 219 Council of Europe conventions, actively participating in their development”, – he reminded. “Our choice is not imposed from outside – said Meshkov. – Russia joined the legal acts that represent our country’s real interest”.
The possible reduction of contributions of Russia to the Council of Europe in connection with the limitation of powers of the Russian delegation in PACE will not affect the budget of the organization, added Bags. “You have to understand that what Turkey has become in this year the sixth main payer in the Council of Europe, says that the organization will not lose anything in money (in the case of restrictions of contributions from the Russian side – ed.)”, he said. Bags, however, noted that relations between Russia and the Council of Europe affected by the difficult situation with dialogue Russia-EU. “Complicated relations between Russia and the European Union today leave prints on the work of the Council of Europe,” said a senior diplomat.
“We do not put the question of reducing tranche”
The Council of Europe puts the question of a revision of Russia’s status as primary payer. This was stated in his turn, the head of the Russian delegation to PACE, the head of the Duma Committee on international Affairs Alexei Pushkov.
Russia refused to participate in the PACE session and reduce your monetary contribution to the organization
The issue of the debate raised the first Deputy Director General Mikhail Gusman. He asked whether the decision of the Russian Federation to pay only a third contribution to the Council of Europe in February to reduce the status of our country as the major contributor of the CE.
“No one in the Council of Europe puts the question to reconsider our status,” he said Pushkov. He added that “we are not talking about reducing down payment”. “We’re talking about what we used to pay the fee in advance. And this is indicative of our confidence in the Council of Europe. We have confirmed that we have no claims to the organization. This year we did not raise the question on the reduction of the tranche. We demonstrate their rejection of the current situation – that we are barred from equal participation in PACE on a financial level, too,” – said Pushkov.
According to him, Russia thus shows that “this situation has certain consequences.” “And so demonstratively translate only the third in the beginning of the year. It is our right, – said Pushkov, Russia thus wants to say that she does not agree with the discrimination within the PACE”. The MP recalled that “it was decided to pay one third of fee to be paid at the end of February”. “Then Russia reserves the right to decide how she will act,” – said the head of the Committee.
Russia is a member of the Council of Europe since 1996. The annual contribution of the Russian Federation in 2016 amounts to more than EUR 30 million.