Russia plans to return to PACE meetings with MPs from Crimea

The Russian delegation plans to resume participation in sessions of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) as early as the session in June. The chairman of the State Duma of the Russian Federation Vyacheslav Volodin stated this to journalists, as reported Dozhd.

According to him, if on the first day of the June 24 PACE session a resolution is adopted to restore the participation rights of the delegation from the Russian Federation, Moscow will immediately send in its notice of intention to participate and will  be in Strasbourg by June 25. Russia expects its basic rights to be restored – being involved in the work of the organization, voting and making speeches.

Volodin explained that if the Russian delegation’s powers are not fully restored, the Russians will leave the session. According to Dozhd’s source in the State Duma, if parliament decides to send its delegation to the PACE, then, at its initiative, it will include “deputies” from occupied Crimea and Sevastopol.

According to another source in the Russian State Duma, this decision may put into question the legitimacy of the entire Russian delegation and adversely affect the process of Russia's return to the PACE. Although, he says, the PACE can introduce personal sanctions against these “deputies”, as opposed to sanctioning the entire delegation from the Russian Federation.

On May 17, the Council of Europe adopted a declaration restoring the Russian delegation’s participation rights.

  Russia, Europe, PACE, Sevastopol, Crimea, State Duma