Merkel: Russia could rejoin PACE under certain conditions

The Russian delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) could be reinstated under certain conditions, said German Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel, as cited by Interfax-Ukraine.

“With respect to Russia’s reinstatement into the Council of Europe, we have had different ideas. We have had to weigh up two things. Firstly, [Russia’s] violation of international law against Ukraine. This is a problem which cannot be ignored by the international community. But for Russia to be reinstated, certain conditions must be met, and it will not be done at any cost,” Merkel said during a joint press conference with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Berlin on 18 June.

French President Emmanuel Macron has said recently that he wants to avoid fully excluding Russia from the council of Europe.

On 3 June, a PACE committee adopted a resolution that proposes to reinstate the Russian delegation’s powers so that it can participate in the June session.

The Russian delegation has not participated in the PACE for several years, since its rights were taken away on account of Crimea and the developments in the Donbas. Russia has stopped paying any contributions to the Council of Europe, which could lead to its exclusion from the organization. Russia has said that it will not pay membership fees unless its delegation is fully reinstated with all the associated rights.

  Russia, Merkel, PACE, Europe