PACE preparing a discussion on the possibility of restoring Russia’s membership in the organization

The Standing Committee of the Parliament Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) has received a request to hold an extraordinary meeting to consider lifting sanctions on the Russian Federation and to reinstate its delegation on the assembly’s panel.

The debate over lifting the sanctions was set on the agenda of the PACE’s Standing Committee meeting to take place on November 24th in Copenhagen.

There is no direct mention of Russia on the agenda. The agenda item is listed as Defending the Acquis of the Council of Europe, the Role of the PACE: Follow up on Resolution 2186 of 2017.

But in fact, the resolution referred to in the agenda addresses the matter of reinstating the Russian Federation in the PACE, which means lifting the political sanctions imposed on Russia.

According to information obtained by journalists, the debate over the lifting of sanctions was initiated by members of the Council of Europe, Michele Nicoletti (Italy) and Tiny Kox (the Netherlands).

There was another question brought to the table under the title of ‘Hijacking Democracy: How Should We Respond?’ that was registered at the PACE Standing Committee to counterbalance the agenda pushed by Nicoletti and Kox.

The current affairs debate over those questions does not envisage any straightforward decisions to follow the meeting, but they are rather to test waters to see if the PACE is ready to lift sanctions against Russia at its upcoming session in January.

As it was earlier reported, Russia has stopped paying its membership fee to the Council of Europe since the summer putting the work of the Council of Europe at risk. Russian officials said that their decision to resume fees payments in 2018 would depend on whether the Russian delegation would be able to enjoy the full membership in the PACE.

  PACE, Russia, Sanctions on Russia