Photo exhibition dedicated to the 20th anniversary of Russia’s membership in the Council of Europe was opened in Strasbourg

Photo exhibition dedicated to the 20th anniversary of Russia’s membership in the Council of Europe was opened in Strasbourg

STRASBOURG, 24 February. A photo exhibition timed to the 20th anniversary of Russia’s membership in the Council of Europe (COE), was opened here in the headquarters of the organization – the Palace of Europe.

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The ceremony was held with the participation of heads of diplomatic missions in the large foyer of the Committee of Ministers. Permanent representative of the Russian Federation in COE Ivan Soltanovsky gave on behalf of Russia in the organization gift a painting of Moscow artist Kozhina Seeds “view of Pushkin square. The new year”. Russian pianist Galina Zhukova performed at the opening ceremony the anthem of Europe.

For its part, the Council of Europe Secretary General thorbjørn Jagland has called “a historic event” the accession on 28 February 1996 Russia to the organization. “Russia plays an important role in the activities of the Council. We continue to work together with Russia. It is an integral partner in the cooperation from the Atlantic and the Pacific,” said the Norwegian diplomat.

Looking around the exhibition, Secretary General commented on a number of photos in the chronicle of events, a party many of which he was himself. “What unites us, it is in the interests of the peoples of Europe,” he said.

Jagland, who headed COE for the first time in October 2009, and then re-elected for a term of five years, noted that during the period of their powers repeatedly visited Russia. He expressed satisfaction with the dialogue with Russian foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and other members of the Russian government.

Earlier today, Lavrov and Jagland on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of Russia’s accession to the COE exchanged messages expressing hope for further constructive cooperation between Russia and the organization despite some issues of disagreement.

Over 200 legal documents

The Council of Europe, said thorbjørn Jagland in an interview to first Deputy Director General Mikhail Gusman, was established shortly after the Second world war “for the development of cooperation between European States on an equal basis.”

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“Now that multilateral cooperation is regulated by more than 200 legal instruments – continued the Secretary-General. – The most important among them is the European Convention on human rights”.

Uniting 47 countries

According to Jagland that the Russian exhibition will help better represent the scope and form of participation of the Russian Federation in the daily activities of the Council of Europe. He recalled that the oldest among international organizations on the continent today includes 47 countries.

Russia, he said, is a full member of the Committee of Ministers. This body provides guidance to the Council, it has several dozens of expert bodies. In Strasbourg meeting of the Committee of Ministers, the chairmen of which are changed every six months on a rotational basis, are held weekly at the ambassadorial level.

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As the head of the permanent mission of the Russian Federation to the Council of Europe Ivan Soltanovsky in January, he signed on behalf of Russia the European Convention on the abolition of legalisation of documents executed by diplomatic agents or consular officers. From COE the signing was attended by the Deputy Secretary General of the organization Gabriela Battaini-Dragoni.

The key obligation in the Convention – “automatic” recognition on the territory of one state party of certain categories of documents executed by diplomatic mission or Consulate of another. This will simplify the procedure because it will allow you to abandon the formalities associated with the additional confirmation of the authenticity of such documents.

The role of the regions

A significant contribution Russia makes to the activities of the Congress of regional and local authorities.

In the structure of the Board he serves as a unique venue for exchange of experience in the areas of real participation of citizens in public life at the regional level, intercultural and interreligious dialogue, education, and migration policies.

The efforts of the Congress is aimed at promoting cross-border cooperation for peace, tolerance and long-term development. His Vice-President elected the Governor of Vladimir region Svetlana Orlova.

Requirements Of Russia

In December of 2015 Russia has confirmed the priority of the right over the decisions of the European court of human rights, a part of the COE.

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We are talking about cases where the standards that are set by the Russian Constitution, higher than those of norms in international law.

In the European court of Russia is a famous lawyer Dmitry Dedov, who previously worked in the Supreme arbitration court of the Russian Federation.

In January, the Russian delegation to the parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) informed about its refusal to take part in the session of the PACE in connection with compliance with national rights.

Due to sanctions adopted by the Assembly after the reunification of the Crimea with Russia, the Russian delegation is deprived of voting rights and participation in decision-making and monitoring bodies of the PACE.

The delegation noted that the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation is ready to resume work in PACE in case of observance of rights of representatives of the participating countries.