Seven delegations leave PACE to protest Russia’s return

Representatives of seven member states of the Council of Europe have jointly announced their intention to protest Russia’s unconditional reinstatement in the organization, reports Eurointegration.

“The unconditional reinstatement of the Russian delegation’s rights without them meeting even one of the assembly’s numerous requirements is contrary to the fundamental values of the Council of Europe and its charter. This step sends a very wrong signal to a country that has resorted to armed aggression, to poisoning, does not respect the rights of its citizens and is striving to destabilize democracy in Europe,” states the document that was read aloud in the hall after the debates had concluded.

The statement, which was jointly signed by the delegations from Ukraine, Georgia, Poland, Slovakia, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, was read by Linda Ozola, a member of the Lithuanian delegation.

“The future of the Council of Europe as a whole is under threat, because the Council of Europe is losing the trust of the people whom it protects,” she said.

The seven countries announced that they intend to take joint action in the parliamentary assembly  during the “unprecedented crisis of confidence”.

“We will return home in order to consult with our parliaments and governments on joint actions in the assembly in the following sessions,” the joint document states.

“We wish the newly elected secretary general success and hope that she will find a way to deal with this unprecedented crisis of confidence that was created this week,” the statement reads.

The Ukrainian MPs had announced their intention to remain absent until the end of the present session at least, but not all other parliamentarians agreed to take such a step, due to an important resolution that will be considered on Thursday. “We considered the option but decided to stay in order to vote on the Boris Nemtsov resolution,” one source explained.

On Wednesday evening, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe voted to reinstate the rights of the Russian delegation without any limitations, despite its violations of the organization’s principles.

  Russia, PACE, Europe, Council of Europe, Ukraine