The Russian Federation will not be working at plenary or committee sessions of the Parliamentary Assembly of Council of Europe in 2017. Leonid Slutsky, the Head of Russian parliamentary committee for international affairs, said this as quoted by TASS news agency.
‘However, we can join other events such as various conferences, seminars or hearings held by political circles of PACE; I’m sure there will be plenty of such events in 2017,’ Slutsky said.
Slutsky and Vyacheslav Volodin, the Head of Russia’s State Duma, talked through the common state of relations between Russia and PACE. ‘We don’t see any opportunity to restore Russia’s full-fledged participation in PACE sessions until they have no right to revise authority of any national delegation,’ Slutsky said.
According to the official, Russia will continue to cooperate with all political groups and national delegations of the Assembly.
In April 2014, Russia was stripped off its vote right – immediately after the annexation of Crimea and the beginning of military conflict in Donbas. In January 2015, PACE approved the resolution that extended sanctions against Russia and deprived her of the right to vote until April 2015. In Turn, the Russian delegates said they would freeze contacts with PACE until the end of the year.
In January 2016, Russia refused to take part in the PACE session to evade extension of sanctions. The country preserved membership in the Council of Europe but refused to join PACE session due to the ‘inadequate perception, demonstrated by many in this authority.’ The Assembly said Russia wouldn’t be able to join its sessions in 2016.