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Verkhovna Rada not obliged to invite PACE observers to Ukraine’s elections, - MFA

Ukraine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs emphasized that there are only two bodies in the Council of Europe whose decisions are mandatory for implementation – Committee of Ministers and the European Court of Human Rights
16:52, 4 July 2019

Observers on elections
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The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine states the Verkhovna Rada is not obliged to invite the delegation from the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) to observe the elections in Ukraine. The spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Kateryna Zelenko commented on a statement of the President of PACE Liliane Maury Pasquie that Ukraine has to invite observers of Assembly to monitor election campaigns, as UNIAN reports.

“In the previous years, Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine and PACE had friendly relations. Today it is difficult to characterize it like partnership relations. When trust and respect were mutual, when the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe had high credibility, the Verkhovna Rada leadership invited the PACE to observe elections in Ukraine,” Zelenko said.

The spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs urged not to forget that there are only two bodies in the Council of Europe whose decisions are mandatory for implementation – Committee of Ministers and the European Court of Human Rights. Moreover, the PACE is an advisory body in accordance with the Statute of the Council of Europe.  Ukraine has always been respectful of the advice of the PACE and proceeded from the importance of implementing such advice.

“Unfortunately, at the June session, this advisory body of the Council of Europe voted for the non-obligatory nature of its decisions when it basically overturned the requirement for Russia to comply not with not just one of them, but with a total of 7 decisions approved in response to Russian aggression against Ukraine.  That`s why I have a question to Ms. Pasquie if she is prepared to take steps to return the authority of the advisory body of the Council of Europe and, therefore, to its decisions,” Zelenko added.

It is reported that the Assembly’s procedure rules state that observing the elections is the right of the Assembly.  "But it does not mean that the parliament is obliged to invite PACE to observe the elections," she said.

Related: U.S. present draft resolution condemning Russia's return to PACE

Zelenko reminded that the parliamentary leadership with the unanimous support of the Foreign Affairs Committee, revoked the invitation of PACE to observe parliamentary elections.  At the same time, she emphasized that Ukraine had not violated any of the documents of the Council of Europe, which are mandatory for implementation.

"As concerns the documents of the advisory body and the inter-parliamentary dialogue in general, it seems to us that PACE should have to enter into a dialogue and to consult delegation of Ukraine in the Assembly instead of reacting emotionally to the decision of the Verkhovna Rada in the public space," Zelenko summed up.

As it was reported, President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) Liliane Maury Pasquier expressed the regret due to the abolition of the invitation for PACE delegation to the snap elections in Ukraine.

Earlier, Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe adopted a resolution which changes the sanctions regime and allows Russia to return to work in the organization without limitations to the right to vote. 

Due to this fact, the delegations of Ukraine, Poland, Lithuania, Litva Slovakia, Estonia, and Georgia announced demarche. The delegations of Ukraine and Georgia launched a complaints procedure in PACE over Russia’s return to the organization. Moreover, the Ukrainian delegation stopped its work in the PACE, excluding the sessions concerning the Russian issue. 

Related: Poland supported declaration, which started return of Russia to PACE

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