Ukraine's Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba says that it was the unconditional return of the Russian delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) session hall that undermined confidence in the organization.
He made the respective statement during a telephone conversation with Secretary General of the Council of Europe Marija Pejčinović Burić, the press service of Ukraine's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.
"The unconditional return of the Russian delegation to PACE has caused a crisis of confidence within the organization, undermined confidence in PACE in Ukraine and Europe as a whole," he said.
In turn, Burić, among other things, briefed Kuleba on the results of her working visit to Moscow, which took place on October 19-20.
The two officials also discussed prospects for further interaction between Ukraine and the Council of Europe.
Russia in PACE: Previous developments
- In April 2014, PACE stripped the Russian delegation of the right to vote and expelled its representatives from all governing bodies of the Assembly over the annexation of Ukraine's Crimea.
- Russia then refused to pay contributions to the Council of Europe as of June 2017. Many PACE members and politicians called such actions of Russia blackmail.
- On June 25, 2019, PACE adopted a resolution that canceled the existing mechanism for imposing sanctions against delegations.
- On June 26, 2019, PACE voted to ratify the credentials of the Russian delegation without imposing any sanctions. This allowed Russia to return to the Assembly's session hall, and it reportedly resumed paying its contributions.
- On October 22, Permanent Representative of Ukraine to the Council of Europe Borys Tarasyuk said that the Russian Federation owed almost EUR 9 million due to be paid to the budget of the Council of Europe.