Council of Europe

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) has not included the issue of the threat to peace in Europe on the part of Russia in the agenda of its spring session, which kicked off in Strasbourg on Monday, April 19.

PACE President Hendrik Daems announced the topics on the agenda, taking into account the decision of the PACE Bureau and consent of the Assembly's members, an UNIAN correspondent reported.

Read alsoEU's Borrell calls on Russia to withdraw troops from Ukrainian borderIn particular, the PACE supported the decision to hold an urgent debate on the arrest and imprisonment of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny and on the functioning of democratic institutions in Turkey.

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Also, Assembly members supported the proposal to hold a debate on the introduction of COVID-19 vaccine certificates and on Armenian POWs.

At the same time, the Ukrainian delegation proposed that the issue be considered of the threat to peace in Europe from the Russian Federation, but it was not included in the session's agenda.

Head of the Ukrainian delegation to PACE, Maria Mezentseva, said now about 100,000 Russian soldiers are on the borders of Ukraine, and that the ceasefire in Donbas is constantly being violated.

This is not only a threat to the Ukrainian territory and independence, she said, but a threat to the Council of Europe and human rights.

Considering that the debate on the topic is not included in the agenda, she invited the PACE delegates to sign a statement on the build-up of Russian troops on the border with Ukraine.

In turn, PACE President Daems said the spring session was overloaded with other topics and asked that the delegates follow the rules. He offered to raise the issue on the Assembly's sidelines.

The spring session of the PACE will last until April 22. Among other things, the session will include addresses by Moldovan President Maia Sandu and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.