20 delegations of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) have signed a declaration "To Defend Council of Europe Values and Credibility". It claims that an attempt to restore Russia's membership would undermine the authority of the Assembly, reported the head of the Ukrainian PACE delegation, Verkhovna Rada deputy Volodymyr Ariev.
"The text expresses regret that some forces in the Council of Europe are attempting to ruin the reputation of the Assembly in part and the Council of Europe entirely. The signatories also say that an attempt to unconditionally restore the rights of the Russian Federation's delegation would completely destroy the authority of PACE and will cause a domino effect in the organization; they are calling to prevent this scenario, " Ariev wrote on Facebook.
Among the signatories of the declaration are Great Britain, Germany, Georgia, Denmark, Ireland, Spain, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Moldova, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Ukraine, Sweden, and Estonia.
In 2014, PACE adopted a resolution depriving the Russian delegation of the right to vote in the Assembly and excluding it from all governing bodies, due to the annexation of the Crimea. In the summer of 2017, Russia announced that it would stop funding the Council of Europe. After that, a decision was made by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe to remove political sanctions from the Russian Federation.
At the same time, diplomatic circles say that Ukraine is ready to suspend its membership in PACE should Russia return.