Ukraine boycotts PACE autumn session due to Russia's return

The Ukrainian Deputy Oleksiy Honcharenko, who was a part of the former Ukrainian delegation to PACE, said that the new delegation of Ukrainian Verkhovna Rada decided not to participate in the plenary session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE). Only four of the twelve Ukrainian delegates will participate in consultations with colleagues in the PACE.

The decision of the Ukrainian side was made due to the return of Russia to PACE. Such a step contradicts the principles of the Council of Europe, said Honcharenko.

The head of the Ukrainian delegation to PACE Elizaveta Yasko noted that she did not submit documents that give deputies from Ukraine the right to represent the country in the Assembly. If documents were submitted, that would mean that the Ukrainian side agrees "to be part of the unfair process of bringing Russia back to PACE," said Yasko in an interview with the news outlet. According to her, Ukrainian delegation wants to "send a signal to Europe about the need to build a new dialogue.

On June 25, PACE adopted a resolution allowing Russia to return to the organization. One hundred eighteen deputies voted for the adoption of the document. Sixty-two voted against, and ten abstained.

Russia has not participated in the PACE since April 2014, after it was deprived of the right to vote. Russia has not paid its membership fee in PACE since 2017.

On 1 July, Ukraine’s parliamentary committee on foreign affairs advised parliament to suspend the involvement of its permanent delegation in the functioning of PACE until the conclusions of the Venice Commission are obtained.

The Ukrainian and Georgian delegations have also appealed the decision to reinstate Russia. Ukrainian MPs have advised President Volodymyr Zelensky and the Foreign Ministry to reconsider the expedience of involvement in other organs of the Council of Europe.

Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Ukraine, Slovakia, Georgia and Sweden plan to draft a joint resolution in PACE opposing the reinstatement of the Russian delegation.

  PACE, Russia, Ukraine