PACE President tries to justify Russia's return to Assembly

On July 7 the President of PACE Lillian-Marie Pasquier during her speech at the session in the Parliamentary Assembly of the OSCE said that the return of the Russian delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe would allegedly allow the Assembly to work closely with Russia on a number of problematic issues, reports Interfax-Ukraine.

"Now we can work on problematic issues with Russian colleagues again. Restoration of the powers of the Russian delegation does not mean that we give them "carte blanche," said Pasquier.

In an attempt to justify PACE's decision, Pasquier said that the restoration of Russia would allegedly serve to establish a dialogue with Moscow on the investigation into the crash of MH17 flight and the return of Ukrainian sailors and ships captured in the Kerch Strait. She also noted that PACE is not going to change the position on the Crimea and the Donbas that was expressed in 2014.

"We continue to defend the principles enshrined in international law to which we are committed," she said.

Russia has not met a single condition for reinstatement in the organization. It has not de-occupied Ukraine’s Crimea and Donbas or released the Ukrainian political prisoners or prisoner-of-war sailors.

On 1 July, Ukraine’s parliamentary committee on foreign affairs advised parliament to suspend the involvement of its permanent delegation in the functioning of PACE until the conclusions of the Venice Commission are obtained.

The Ukrainian and Georgian delegations have also appealed the decision to reinstate Russia. Ukrainian MPs have advised President Volodymyr Zelensky and the Foreign Ministry to reconsider the expedience of involvement in other organs of the Council of Europe.

Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Ukraine, Slovakia, Georgia and Sweden plan to draft a joint resolution in PACE opposing the reinstatement of the Russian delegation.

  Ukraine, Russia, PACE, Europe, MH-17