Russia considers withdrawal from the Council of Europe

At a meeting with Liliane Maury Pasquier, the Chairman of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, Russian Federation Council Speaker Valentina Matviyenko said that the Russian Federation is seriously considering the withdrawal from the Council of Europe, TASS reports.

 “We have an internal decision to leave the Council of Europe. I am telling you this sincerely,” she told the head of the Assembly.

Matviyenko said that the reason for this announcement was the ongoing crisis in the Council of Europe. As it is known, Russia has not participated in the work of PACE since 2015 and stopped paying fees to the budget of the Council of Europe in the summer of 2017.

The Federation Council speaker said that Moscow would like to continue work in the Assembly and would like the Council of Europe to remain a “universal pan-European organization” and to ensure “the unity of the humanitarian and legal space from the Antarctic to the Pacific Ocean”. At the same time, we assess the situation in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe as critical,” said Matviyenko.

It is noteworthy that the statement of the representative of the Russian political elite contradicts the position of the Russian Foreign Ministry. A week ago, the Russian Ambassador to Strasbourg said that Russia will not leave the Council of Europe.

On September 20, changes in the rules for imposing sanctions on Russia were discussed in Strasbourg. The PACE insists that they will not remove the sanctions against the Russian Federation without it fulfilling its obligations.

  Russia, Council of the European Union, PACE