Authorities refused to reduce the fee to the Council of Europe because of image risks


Government Commission on legislative activities reviewed 5 December, the bill, state Duma Deputy Alexei Zhuravlev (“homeland”) about an exception of Russia from among the main payers in the budget of the Council of Europe (COE). The Deputy has prepared an amendment to the law “On accession of Russia to the Statute of the Council of Europe,” but, according to the Duma website, had not yet made it to the lower house of Parliament.

The government did not support the initiative of the Deputy, said one of the participants of the meeting of the state Commission. The preservation of Russia’s status as the main payer provides the necessary conditions for the promotion of Russian positions in the Council of Europe, says the draft conclusion of the Minister’s office, prepared with the participation of the Russian foreign Ministry and the Ministry of Finance (). Russia, along with France, Germany, Italy, UK and Turkey is one of the largest donors to the COE.

The status of the main payer provides a “practical benefits, including provides a wide use of the Russian language as a working,” says the government. In addition, it allows you to give priority to make changes in all addressed in all documents and work through them with other States major payers before making the official discussion.

In the case of the transition from the status of the main payer in the category of ordinary payer the amount of the contribution will be reduced by no more than 10%, which is “disproportionate to the potential political and image losses,” reads the conclusion of the Cabinet of Ministers.

The situation with the participation of the Russian delegation in the parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe may change in the future, according to the government. “In this regard, it is inappropriate to use this circumstances as grounds for release from among the main payers in the budget of the Council of Europe”, — concludes the Cabinet.

The author of the bill Deputy of the crane were unavailable for comment on Monday.

Earlier reported that Russia fully in 2016 paid the fee for participation in the COE structures, including in PACE. The funds were listed on time, although in January Moscow has threatened to cut funding because of the sanctions imposed on the Russian delegation in PACE. They were introduced in 2014 after the annexation of Crimea: Russians deprived of voting rights, opportunities to participate in the work of the statutory bodies and the monitoring of elections.

At the first session in January of 2015, the Russian delegation was present, but left Strasbourg after sanctions were extended. From participating in PACE winter session in 2016, Russia has refused, without receiving the guarantees of the restoration of the powers.

The contribution of Russia in the Council of Europe is approximately €32 million Technically pay a portion of the contribution to the CE is impossible, since it is indivisible and goes to all four of the Institute COE (Committee of Ministers, Council of Europe, Congress of local and regional authorities and the European court of human rights), said the MPs.

Another review of the credentials of the Russian delegation to be held at the forthcoming session in January 2017. Go delegation to Strasbourg or not, is still unknown, said earlier the first Deputy Chairman of the international Committee Svetlana Zhurova. But the MP does not have much illusions about the restoration of the authority of Russia in PACE.

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