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The relevance of the statement of Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin about a possible démarche in PACE is caused by the fact that elections to the State Duma of Russian Federation will be held in Crimea. In fact, it would mean the legalization of Russian occupation of Crimea, if the representatives of the Russian parliament will be elected in this area. In the territory, which Ukraine and the rest of the world, except Russia, consider Ukrainian. This is one reason.
The second reason. Russian delegation in PACE for two years is absent, and there have already started some trends regarding the possible return of Russians to the session. But PACE is a parliamentary assembly that means, representatives of parliaments of different countries gather there. And if the elections to the State Duma - Russian Federation Parliament, will be recognized as legitimate, it will mean that the Russian delegation there may be legitimate.
Ukrainian point of view on this is diplomatic demarche. In advance, before the election, recognition or non-recognition of these elections as legitimate, Ukrainian side determines its future actions. I think it is realistic to achieve through this move the fact that Russian delegation in PACE will not resume its work. Exactly in the context of deciding on the return of Russian delegation in PACE.
However, if Ukraine announces boycott and will not be able to participate in the meetings, it will mean that Ukraine will be closed from the rest of the PACE member countries in the context of human rights. PACE - is an organization that focuses on human rights issues. By and large, Ukraine could even untie its hands, get out of the criticism and get rid of the influence of this organization. This may be an unexpected consequence of this solution. But nevertheless, I think that it is about diplomatic demarche, only the intention to do it, and we still do not say that it happened.
I think that Ukraine will make a decision after PACE’s decision on the return or non-return of Russian delegation, and not before this. When this happens, Ukrainian delegation could leave PACE and it will be a demarche. But whether it will return back, it depends on the context of other events, which are unpredictable today.
By the way, the decision of the demarche is usually being adopted at Parliament level. Delegation can get up and go out, it is possible right during the session, but to decide not to send a delegation at all - this should be a decision of Parliament. Such decisions would be made with the active participation of both the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the President. This should be a consolidated solution of all branches of the Ukrainian authorities.
Today we hear a preventive statement. I understand that this is not just about the PACE, the participation of our delegation there, but on the non-recognition of the legitimacy of Russian elections, which they want to carry out on the territory of Ukraine. I think this is the main motive of the Klimkin’s statement. If the rest of the world does not recognize the legitimacy of parliamentary elections in Russia, this means that they can not send parliamentary delegations not only to PACE, but also to many other organizations. That is, the inter-parliamentary cooperation with Russia will stop. It will be the form sanctions against the Russian Federation in respect of the members of the Russian parliament. Therefore it is necessary to consider these actions through the application of our minister in a broader context. It is about the legitimacy of Russian parliament.
And it may happen that elections will be not recognized. There is an example of the Belarusian parliament, where elections haven’t been recognized as valid for 20 years. Although the world knows that situation in Russia depends not only on Russian parliament. The main authority there is the President.
Some European countries have taken a cautious stance. However, this caution can play both in one and in the other direction. Much will depend on the reaction of the United States of America. Much will depend on their initial reaction. The vote will take place on September 18. Let’s see what will be the first US reaction, in the same way will react other countries.
Let’s talk about the consequences. In fact, the non-recognition of the elections will not change anything. Only parliamentarians will suffer because they will lose their trips abroad and contacts. But in general, the Russian state, the government, the president, the army will act as acted before. This will be a form of pressure on the Russian side to support Ukraine. For us, it is a manifestation of solidarity with Ukraine, as well as economic sanctions, personal sanctions against individual leaders of the Russian regime.
Russia may organize voting on the territory of its embassies and consulates, in spite of the position of Ukraine, because this is their territory. But Ukrainian side can not guarantee giving access to that territory for the Russian voters. Therefore, there will not be the mass voting. Ukraine perceives Russia as an aggressor state and responds appropriately. The fact that the Russians do not like it, that's normal too.