The Russian delegation will be unable to participate in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe this year. The President of PACE, Anne Brasseur, reported this in her statement, published on the organization’s website on January 19th.
Brasseur confirmed that she received a letter from the Chairman of the Council of the Russian Federation and Chairman of the State Duma, which says that, the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation will not file documents for a Russian delegation to take part in the January session. “I regret that such decision was taken,” Brasseur said.
According to her, as a consequence of this decision, the Russian delegation will be unable to take part in the work of PACE for 2016 or at least until parliamentary elections are held in Russia, in accordance with Article 25 of the Statute of the Council of Europe and Rule 6 of the Regulations of the Parliamentary Assembly.
The day before, Deputy Head of the Russian delegation to PACE, Leonid Slutsky reported that the Russian delegation refused to participate in the planned January session to be held in Strasbourg on January 25th.
Slutsky noted that the Russian Federation will return to Strasbourg only on equal terms, meaning that full powers are returned to its delegation. The Russian contingent was deprived of its basic powers in April 2014 after Russia annexed the Crimean Peninsula.
They retained only the rights to attend and speak at the meetings of Parliamentary Assembly, and to work in the Committees maintained by Russian Parliamentarians. Since that time, sanctions have been extended twice.
Moreover, the resolution states that the Russian delegation can be deprived of their remaining rights if Russia fails to implement the Minsk Agreements.