Putin: Moscow can live without membership in Council of Europe

At the press conference after talks with Finnish President Sauli Niinistö , Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Russia doesn't want to participate in the Council of Europe at any cost, and if other members don't want to see Russia there, Moscow can live without membership in this organization.

Finnish journalist, addressed Putin and  pointed out that Moscow does not comply with the rules of the organization. The journalist reminded of dispersal of protests in Moscow. Putin replied that Russia "is not eager" to participate in the Council of Europe.

"If they do not want to see us there, we are ready to withdraw from it," Putin stressed, adding that in the case of Russia's withdrawal from the PACE, the Russians will lose the right to apply to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). According to Putin, this is not the best way to build a "United Europe from Lisbon to Vladivostok."

The Council of Europe was established in 1949. In 1996, Russia joined the organization and ratified the European Convention for the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms. But in 2014, the Russian delegation lost most of its powers in PACE after the events in Crimea and Eastern Ukraine. Also, Russia suspended its participation in PACE. Moscow returned to work in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe only in 2019 when organization restored Russia's membership.

  Russia, Finland, PACE, Putin