Council of Europe/ Candice Imbert

The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, the country's parliament, on Thursday adopted a statement on the return of its delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe in 2020, according to an UNIAN correspondent.

The statement says the Verkhovna Rada instructed its permanent delegation to PACE, realizing the country's right as a full member of the Council of Europe, to submit credentials to participate in the PACE annual session in 2020.

At the same time, parliamentarians called on Council of Europe member states to increase efforts to encourage the Russian side to fulfill its international obligations as a member of the CoE, including the resolutions and recommendations adopted by the Assembly, in order to restore respect on the part of Russia for the principles of international law, including territorial integrity and inviolability of borders in Europe.

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The Verkhovna Rada also called for measures to resume effective and full-fledged monitoring by PACE of the Russian Federation's fulfillment of the obligations defined by PACE Conclusion No. 193 (1996), including the resolution of international disputes exclusively by peaceful means, the settlement of border issues on the basis of international law, and the refusal to extend to individual countries the zones of their special influence, the withdrawal of troops from the territory of Moldova, compliance with international humanitarian law, and the like.

In addition, the document states the need for Russia to ratify the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages ​​in accordance with the obligations Russia undertook upon accession to the Council of Europe, as indicated in PACE Opinion No. 193 (1996).

The Verkhovna Rada also asked the Ukrainian delegation to PACE to submit to parliament a report on the results of participation in PACE 2020 to further determine the forms and methods of achieving the goals and objectives of the Assembly for the next period.

The statement said that the purpose of the Ukrainian delegation's participation in the PACE is to prevent the retaining of the existing situation in Europe resulting from the aggressive foreign policy of the Russian Federation, to bring objective information about the unlawful acts committed by the Russian Federation in the occupied territories of Ukraine and Ukraine's efforts to end armed aggression by a CoE member state and tackle its consequences, as well as prevent the use of the PACE platform to spread false narratives about the situation in Ukraine.

Read alsoUkraine to resume work in PACE: Rada considering resolution on participation

It is noted that the delegation of Ukraine, in cooperation with partners, will make efforts to promote the implementation of a positive agenda in order to help the Assembly achieve goals defined by the Charter of the Council of Europe, namely strengthening democracy and the rule of law, and protecting human rights and freedoms in Europe.

The Rada resolutely rejects any possibility for the Ukrainian delegation to support any PACE decisions that could contradict the statutory goals or undermine their achievements, and also emphasizes the need to develop proposals to strengthen PACE's institutional capacities and autonomy in responding to violations by its member states of statutory and contractual obligations, as well as, in the broader sense, of all resolutions and recommendations of the Assembly.

As UNIAN reported earlier, the PACE in April 2014 deprived the Russian delegation of the right to vote and excluded its representatives from all of the Assembly's governing bodies 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 considered such actions of Russia blackmail.

On June 25, 2019, the PACE adopted a resolution, abolishing the mechanism for imposing sanctions, which had been in force at the PACE before. On June 26, 2019, the PACE supported a resolution approving the credentials of the Russian delegation without imposing any sanctions.

Read alsoChallenges of 2020: Verkhovna Rada as detonator of unification or split

Protesting the move, delegations of Estonia, Georgia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, and Ukraine cut short their participation in the summer session.

The new delegation of Ukraine to the PACE officially refused to participate in the organization's autumn session over the Russian Federation's return.