Russia will not send its delegation to the upcoming session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) to be held on 22-26 January, as indicated by the Deputy speaker of the State Duma, Pyotr Tolstoy, who is supervising international activities in the lower House of Parliament, to TASS.
"The Russian Federation will not present its delegation in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe in January because an essential condition for our work there, in particular, the guarantee of non-discrimination of the rights of national delegations were not included in the regulations of the organization,” Tolstoy said. “That is why Russia’s decision to abstain from working in PACE in the plenary remains in force until the changes are made to the Regulations."
In April 2014, the Russian delegation in PACE was deprived of its basic rights due to the aggression against Ukraine. In 2015, PACE considered the restoration of the rights of the delegation twice, but the sanctions remained in force: Russia was denied the opportunity to vote in PACE until the end of the year, and was also excluded from participation in the work of governing bodies of the Assembly and its Election Observation missions in the Council of Europe. The delegation of the Russian Federation responded that they refuse to work with PACE under such conditions and in 2016-2017 they didn’t apply for confirmation of their credentials.
At the end of June it became known that Russia suspended the payment of its contributions to the Council of Europe due to the non-participation of the delegation of the Russian Federation in PACE’s work.