The Russian delegation refuses to participate in the January session of PACE until its credentials are restored, Deputy Head of the delegation Leonid Slutsky said as quoted by UNIAN.
“We are preparing a letter to Head of PACE Anne Brasseur, singed by speakers of houses of Russian Parliament. The letter says that powers of the Russian delegation in 2016 will be requested later. That is, we’ll have to skip the January session”, RIA Novosti quoted the official.
“According to Sergei Naryshkin, Speaker of the State Duma (the lower house of the Russian Parliament), we won’t tolerate any discrimination, and any sanctions against the Russian delegation are unacceptable”, Slutsky said.
The upcoming session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) begins in Strasbourg on January 25.
PACE might become the first international agency to not keep technical restrictions imposed upon Russia. “The Kremlin could gain this fictional victory if the Russian delegation doesn’t show up at the session”, UNIAN wrote.
In April 2014, Russia’s delegation in PACE fell under sanctions imposed by the Assembly due to Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea. According to the respective resolution, Russian diplomats were deprived of their voting right in the Assembly, as well as of the right to be represented in the Assembly’s governing bodies. Since then, the sanctions against the Russian delegation have been twice extended, while PACE urged the Kremlin to return Crimea to Ukraine, stop the military aggression in Donbas and withdraw its troops from the Ukrainian territory.