The Council of Europe considers the opportunity to lift the EU sanctions off Russia, imposed on this country for its aggression against Ukraine. Thorbjorn Jagland said that in his interview for Financial Times.
‘Nobody wants to give a signal that we accept the annexation of Crimea. It is not about undermining this position of principle. But . . . we have to keep in perspective: what is our mandate. Our mandate is to protect human rights in Russia and Crimea, or wherever people live on the continent,’ he said.
Norway’s ex-prime minister admits Russia might leave the Council of Europe, which would affect human rights protection in the global dimension.
Currently, Moscow demands that its vote right in PACE be restored; this organization, which is responsible for monitoring human rights protection, stripped Russia of the right to vote in 2014 when Russian troops invaded and annexed Ukrainian Crimea.
‘It would really be very, very bad if Russia was to leave . . . because the convention and court have been so important for Russian citizens. It will be a negative development for Europe because we will have a Europe without Russia. It would be a big step back for Europe,’ Jagland said as quoted by FT.