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The delegation of Ukraine to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) has officially refused to participate in the PACE's autumn session over the Russian Federation's return.

"We declare our refusal to submit the credentials of the new Ukrainian delegation for approval during the autumn part of the PACE session from September 30 to October 4, 2019," head of the Ukrainian delegation to the PACE, MP from the Servant of the People parliamentary faction Lisa Yasko quoted an official statement on Facebook on September 23.

"The abovementioned [measure] will be Ukraine's response to the return of the Russian Federation to the PACE session hall without having fulfilled the conditions of the Assembly's resolutions adopted in response to Russian aggression against Ukraine," the official statement said.

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According to Yasko, the Ukrainian delegation to the PACE will be holding consultations with partners in the Assembly to identify common approaches and solutions that would restore the Assembly's reputation as an important model of democracy, the rule of law and the protection of human rights and freedoms in Europe.

The Ukrainian parliamentarians also call on the delegations of the Council of Europe member states to hold extended consultations on the consequences of Russia's unconditional return to the PACE.

As UNIAN reported earlier, the newly elected Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine's parliament, on September 17, 2019, formed a new delegation to the PACE. MP from the Servant of the People parliamentary faction Lisa Yasko was tapped to head the delegation.

The PACE on June 26, 2019, lifted sanctions from Russia, which were in effect since April 2014 over the annexation of Ukraine's Crimea. All the powers of the Russian delegation to the PACE were reinstated in full. After this, the delegations of Estonia, Georgia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, and Ukraine decided to leave the PACE summer session ahead of schedule. One of the arguments for the return of Russia to the PACE was the fact that Russian citizens need to have access to the European Court of Human Rights to be able to protect their rights.