Ukraine’s delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) has refused to participate in the autumn PACE session, Elizaveta Yasko, head of the Ukrainian delegation, announced on Facebook.
“We declare our refusal to submit the credentials of the new Ukrainian delegation for approval during the autumn part of the PACE session from September 30 to October 4, 2019. This will be a way for Ukraine to react to the reinstatement of the Russian Federation in the PACE session hall without meeting the requirements of the Assembly resolutions that were adopted in response to Russian aggression against Ukraine,” she noted.
According to Yasko, the delegation will consult with Ukraine’s partners within the Assembly “in order to search for common approaches and decisions that would make it possible to restore to the PACE its reputation as an important example of democracy, the rule of law and the protection of human rights and freedoms in Europe”.
She also urged the delegations of other Council of Europe member states to hold expanded consultations on the consequences of reinstating Russia.
“We ask France, which is chairing the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, to initiate consultations involving the President of the French Republic Emmanuel Macron and all interested parties for broader discussion of a way to restore faith in the Council of Europe, and the institutional and also moral crisis of the CoE, which has emerged as a result of the voluntary and baseless refusal of the Committee of Ministers and the Assembly to insist that Russia comply with the principles and standards of the Council of Europe,” Yasko added.
At the end of June, the PACE adopted a resolution reinstating Russia’s right to vote in sessions. Since 2014, the Russian delegation had been stripped of its primary credentials due to Russia’s occupation of Ukraine’s Crimea.
On September 17, Ukraine’s parliament formed a new delegation to the PACE, led by Elizaveta Yasko, a member of the Servant of the People party. However, Bohdan Yaremenko, head of the Verkhovna Rada Foreign Policy Committee, said that the Ukrainian delegation cannot participate in the upcoming session.
During the autumn session, the PACE is scheduled to consider a draft resolution on the status of Crimean Tatars in Russia-occupied Crimea.