Council of Europe allows Russia to take part in electing new Secretary General

At a meeting in Helsinki, more than 30 member state ministers of foreign affairs in the Council of Europe decided to pave the way for Russia’s return to the PACE following an emergency procedure, as reported by Ukrinform.

Member states should have the right to participate on an equal footing in the Committee of Ministers and the Parliamentary Assembly according to the decision rendered on Friday.

At the same time, the ministers stressed that member states have the fundamental obligation to pay into the Council of Europe’s budget.

In addition, the ministers of foreign affairs said that they would welcome it if all member states could take part in the PACE session in June, noting the importance of electing the Secretary General of the Council of Europe and the judges of the European Court of Human Rights.

The ministers also discussed the importance of better coordinating the decisions of the Committee of Ministers and the PACE in order to “strengthen the organization’s ability to respond effectively to situations in which a member state violates its statutory obligations or does not comply with the standards, fundamental principles and values of the Council of Europe.”

Ukraine’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Pavlo Klimkin ignored the ministerial meeting in Helsinki.

Since 2014, the Russian delegation to the PACE has been deprived of basic mandates. At a meeting on October 9, 2018, as in 2017, the PACE did not reinstate Russia’s voting rights, choosing to postpone making a decision to 2019.

  PACE, Russia, Ukraine