Discussions during the meeting of the Presidential Committee of the parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) with the Russian deputies in Paris on 14 December was «open and honest». This was stated by PACE President Stella Kyriakides, reported the press service of the PACE.
She noted that this was the first meeting with Russian parliamentarians in March of 2017.
«Although between us and the abyss remains in important political issues, we can agree that there is a need to continue the discussion,» said Kyriakides.
In particular, the PACE President noted the importance of continuing the dialogue on the PACE resolution 2186 (2017). According to her, the discussion needs to involve parliamentarians from all member States of the Council of Europe.
Russia was deprived of voting rights in PACE in April 2014, immediately after the annexation of Crimea and the outbreak of hostilities in the Donbass. January 28, 2015, PACE adopted a resolution that extended sanctions against Russia and deprived it of voting rights until April.
In protest, the Russian delegation said it would suspend its contacts with the parliamentary Assembly.
During 2016 and the last nine months of 2017, the Russian delegation did not participate in the Assembly.
In September, Vice-speaker of the state Duma of the Russian Federation Pyotr Tolstoy said that Russia will not Finance the PACE in 2018.
October 11, PACE adopted resolution 2186, which refers to the need to harmonize the rules for the participation and representation of member countries in both the statutory bodies of the Council – the PACE and the Committee of Ministers. This resolution can help to return to the courtroom of the Russian delegation. Almost all the amendments proposed by the Ukrainian delegation was rejected.
On 20 October, the Secretary-General of the Council of Europe thorbjørn Jagland arrived in Moscow, where during a meeting with the Minister of foreign Affairs of Russia Sergey Lavrov discussed the issues of Russia’s participation in the work of all bodies of the Council of Europe.
In an interview with the Financial Times, which was published on 26 November, Jagland said that the Council of Europe is considering the abolition of sanctions against Russia, imposed because of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine. He expressed concern that in regard to the limits of Russia may withdraw from the Council of Europe, which will affect the protection of human rights in the country.
In the Federation Council of the Russian Federation stated that they see no prospect of returning of the Russian delegation in PACE in 2018.
PACE President after a meeting with Russian MPs: Between us remains a gap in important political issues 15.12.2017