Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov held a telephone conversation with Secretary General of the Council of Europe Thorbjorn Jagland, in which Lavrov told him about the Russian Federation's decision to suspend its contribution payment to the CE budget for 2017, as reported on the Russian Foreign Ministry's website.
"The Minister has informed the Secretary General of the Council of Europe of its decision to suspend payment of the contribution of the Russian Federation to the budget of the Council of Europe for 2017, until the powers of the delegation of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe are fully restored and T. Jagland's attention is drawn to the Russian Foreign Ministry's June 30 statement on this topic," says the statement.
The statement notes that the Russian Federation "is concerned about the deepening crisis in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE)."
"Given current occurrences, the Russian Federation decided to suspend the payment of its contribution to the Council of Europe in 2017 until the full restoration of the powers of the delegation of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation in PACE," the Press Service said.
The Russian delegation was deprived of its right to vote and withdrawn from the PACE governing bodies in April 2014, after Russia annexed the Ukrainian Crimea. In January 2015, PACE extended these restrictions. In response, the Russian delegation withdrew from official PACE events.
In April, after the visit of PACE President Pedro Agramunt to Syria together with a delegation of Russian parliamentarians, an agreement was reached on his resignation. However, Agramunt refused to resign, so on June 27 PACE supported the introduction of an impeachment procedure. On Friday, 158 PACE delegates signed the initiative for Agramunt’s resignation.