Zelensky on Russia's return to PACE: "Pity that our European partners haven't heard us"
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky says he is disappointed by the decision of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) to reinstate the voting rights of the Russian Federation's delegation.
"[I'm] disappointed by the decision of the PACE to reinstate the powers of the delegation of the Russian Federation without limitation. Last week I personally discussed this issue with the President of France and with the Federal Chancellor of Germany," Zelensky wrote on Facebook on June 25.
"[I] tried to convince Mr. Macron and Mrs. Merkel that the return of the Russian delegation to the PACE is possible only after Russia fulfills the Assembly's fundamental requirements. It is a pity that our European partners haven't heard us and acted differently," Zelensky noted.
He thanked the Ukrainian parliamentary delegation and friendly national delegations, which courageously fought to the end.
"The main cause for the return was the need to protect human and civil rights as the highest democratic values. [I] have hope that no one had any thoughts about material values in the issue of defending the democratic values. I also want to see how the advocates of the return of the Russian delegation to the Assembly – an organization that has been defending the rule of law in Europe for 70 years – will defend and demand another return – that of captured Ukrainian sailors," the president emphasized.
Zelensky recalled that Tuesday, June 25, is the deadline for the execution of the relevant order by the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea to release 24 Ukrainian sailors held captive by Russia.
"We are looking forward to how the declared messages on the rule of law will become reality," he said.
As UNIAN reported, the PACE in April 2014 deprived the Russian delegation of the right to vote and excluded its representatives from all governing bodies of the Assembly over the annexation of Crimea.
In this regard, Russia has not paid contributions to the Council of Europe since June 2017. Many PACE members and politicians regarded such actions of Russia as blackmail.
In the early hours of June 25, the PACE adopted a resolution titled: "Strengthening the decision-making process of the Parliamentary Assembly concerning credentials and voting." The document was supported by 118 parliamentarians, 62 voted against with 10 abstentions.
The resolution cancelled the mechanism for imposing sanctions, which was in effect at the PACE.
The adoption of the resolution creates an opportunity for lifting sanctions against the Russian delegation. Now Russian parliamentarians will be able to take part in the work of the Assembly without fulfilling any conditions concerning the restoration of territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine, including the end of the occupation of Crimea and certain parts of Donbas.