Source: Russia intends to extend the moratorium on payment of dues to the Council of Europe in 2018

MOSCOW, January 12. /TASS/. Russia is likely to extend to 2018 the moratorium on the payment of contribution to the budget of the Council of Europe. TASS said Friday diplomatic source.

“Now, all the decisions in force and, obviously, the position on the contribution of the Russian Federation will remain the same in 2018. Payments will not resume until the Russian delegation will not return to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe [PACE],” – said the Agency interlocutor.

However, he pointed out that the differences between Moscow and Strasbourg for six months from the date of announcement of the suspension of payment of contribution has not been overcome. “A necessary condition on the amendments to the regulations of the Assembly, abolishing regulations on deprivation of the votes of national delegations and were not adopted. And, as it became known, the Russian Federation again refused to submit an application for the confirmation of powers in PACE for 2018,” – said the source.

However, he assured that in case of resolving the crisis with the PACE Russia is ready to consider the question of the return of payments payment in full.

Russia and PACE

The Russian delegation in PACE in April 2014 was deprived of powers due to the events in Ukraine and the reunification of the Crimea with Russia. In 2015, the PACE has twice considered the issue of restoration of rights of the Russian delegation, but then the sanctions remained in force: Russia was deprived of the opportunity to vote in PACE until the end of the year, and also suspended from participation in the governing bodies of the Assembly and its observation missions for elections in the Council of Europe. In response, the delegation of the Russian Federation stated that it refuses to work in PACE under such conditions, and in 2016-2017 did not request confirmation of their authority because of the continued Russophobic sentiments in Strasbourg.

On June 30, Russian foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in a telephone conversation informed the Secretary General of the Council of Europe (COE) thorbjørn Jagland about Russia’s decision to suspend the payment of contribution to the budget of the CE in 2017 “until the unconditional restoration of full powers of delegation of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation in PACE”. At the same time Moscow insists on changing the rules of the Assembly and the exclusion of “sanctions” articles.

Russia is a member of the Council of Europe since 1996 and is one of six major contributors. In 2017, the contribution has amounted to just over €33 million with a total budget of CE in €454,6 million in Total, the organization includes 47 States.