A delegation of deputies from the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) and the State Duma of Russia headed by PACE President Pedro Agramunt arrived in Syria, despite the fact that Agramunt was not authorized to carry out such a visit by the Assembly or its bodies.
This was reported by Russian "Channel One".
According to the Russian channel, deputies from the Czech Republic, Belgium, Serbia and Italy, as well as deputies of the State Duma of Russia, arrived with Agramunt in Syria on March 20.
It was the Russian deputies who organized this visit.
"Russia has not left PACE, and the best indicator is that together with us here today in Syria is the President of the Parliamentary Assembly. The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe is slowly but surely filling with common sense with regard to what is happening to Russia, the role of Russia in Europe, and Russia's role in confronting international terrorism here in Syria; and that is why our colleagues are here,” said Leonid Slutsky, Chairman of the Committee on International Affairs.
At the same time, it should be noted that in fact the Russian delegates are not members of PACE, because they, avoiding sanctions, have refused to submit a list of their delegation to Strasbourg.
Also, the status of Agramunt as the head of the delegation remains unclear, because neither the Assembly nor its bodies authorized him to do so.
In 2014, PACE adopted a resolution that deprived the Russian delegation of the right to vote for a year due to the annexation of the Crimea. In response, the Russian delegation suspended its participation in the work of PACE. In 2016 and 2017, Russia did not send a list of its delegation to Strasbourg, thus avoiding a vote at which the question of prolonging the suspension of the right to vote was to be decided.
Last year, the President of the PACE, Pedro Agramunt, launched an initiative to return Russia to the Assembly.
Already this year, the Russian delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe has demanded to change the rules so that it could return to work in the Assembly.