Russia not to attend PACE January session – media
Russia will not send its delegation to the January session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) as no amendments have been introduced on protecting national delegations from discrimination, Deputy State Duma Speaker Pyotr Tolstoy told TASS on Thursday.
"Russia's delegation won't be represented in PACE in January as the significant condition of our work there, namely the guarantees of non-discrimination of national delegations' rights, has not been introduced in this organization's regulations," said Tolstoy, who is in charge of international cooperation at the lower house of parliament, TASS reported.
"That's why Russia's decision to abstain from the work in PACE in the plenary format remains in force until the regulations are changed," he said.
"But we have been holding and will further hold consultations with PACE's members on this issue with the goal of convincing our colleagues that any discrimination of national delegations first and foremost harms the organization itself," Tolstoy stressed.
Read alsoMost PACE members support Ukraine's position on Russian delegation – Ukraine envoyIn comments on possibly inviting to Moscow members of PACE's Presidential Committee after the January session to discuss further cooperation between Russia and the Council of Europe, Tolstoy said this depends on the outcome of consultations after the January session.
Earlier, Leonid Slutsky, who chairs of the State Duma International Affairs Committee, spoke about the possibility of sending this invitation.
Speaker of Russia’s Federation Council Valentina Matvienko earlier said that the Russian delegation would definitely return to PACE eventually.