The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) of Ukraine says that the return of the Russian Federation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) will weaken the organization and undermine its rules.
"Lifting Russia's ban in PACE is obviously not the right policy silver bullet that could #StopRussianAggression. Conversely, it would weaken this reputable organization, subverting the fairness and transparency of rules in the CoE #SaveCouncilEurope," MFA spokesperson Kateryna Zelenko said on Twitter on June 24.
As UNIAN reported earlier, the PACE on April 10, 2014, deprived the Russian delegation of its voting rights in the body over Russian aggression against Ukraine. The Russian delegation also lost the rights to be represented in the Bureau of the Assembly, the PACE Presidential Committee, the PACE Standing Committee, and the rights to participate in election-observation missions.
Russia in June 2017 cancelled its annual payment to the Council of Europe for 2017 after claiming its 18 delegates were being "persecuted" in response to the illegal annexation of Ukraine's Crimea. The Russian side warned that no future payments would be made until the rights of the Russian delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe "are fully restored."
On May 17, 2019, the foreign ministers of more than 30 states (from 47 member states of the Council of Europe) spoke in favor of the equal participation of all member states in the organization's statutory bodies, which could lead to the lifting of anti-Russian sanctions.
On June 3, the PACE Committee on Rules of Procedure, Immunities and Institutional Affairs adopted a draft resolution providing for a more sophisticated procedure for imposing sanctions against national delegations in the Assembly. This draft resolution should finally be approved by the Assembly.