Winter session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe started on Monday, January 27. Ukrainian delegation will take part in the session. 112 Ukraine correspondent reported this, noting that Ukrainian and Russian delegation will meet in PACE for the first time in five years.
“In 2014, after the annexation of Crimea and the beginning of the conflict in Donbas, PACE introduced new sanctions against the Russian Federation and in protest, Russians left Strasbourg. Their delegation has not attended the meetings all these five years, but their possible return was discussed almost on every session. Last year, Russia has returned to PACE and renewed Ukrainian delegation in autumn boycotted the session in protest,” the correspondent said.
According to him, the committee meeting is taking place now and at 12:30 Kyiv time, the session will be opened where the new PACE president will be elected.
“On agenda, in particular, tomorrow, there is an important question – sanction mechanism…At first, the Ukrainian delegation will try to appeal against the powers of Russian delegation but the experts say chances are low, just like for the introduction of new sanctions against Russia. And this new sanction mechanism can render this impossible even in the future,” the reported said.
On his part, delegate from Ukraine Oleksiy Honcharenko said that Ukraine and its partners would twice appeal against the rights of the Russian delegation in the assembly, as European Truth reports.
MP noted that the strategy was agreed with representatives of other delegations. In particular, during the formal approval of the powers of delegations from all the countries, a group of parliamentarians will stand up to protest against the presence of representatives from the Russian Federation in the session hall, which will suspend the procedure.
“We have already agreed on this, we will stand up. Latvian delegation will initiate the appeal against the powers of Russia on a procedural pretext, and Georgian – based on the subject matter (violation by Russians of their obligations on the Council of Europe). Why is it Georgian? Because Georgia heads the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe,” Honcharenko said.
To initiate these two appeals, we need 10 and 30 parliamentarians from five countries to stand up in protest against the automatic introduction of Russia’s powers in PACE. Ukraine has such support.
“The main argument in procedural pretext is that the Russian delegation includes MPs from the blacklist of the EU who are under sanctions – Kalashnikov and Slutsky. We have a resolution of the Venice Commission that this is a legit ground for the appeal,” Honcharenko noted.
After this, the issue of powers of the Russians will be directed to the committees for the development of a draft resolution. The MP said that the final decision on this matter would be taken during the first two days of the session.