Russia Considering Exit From Council of Europe

Russia Considering Exit From Council of EuropeRussia Considering Exit From Council of Europe

The state Duma speaker Sergey Naryshkin said on Thursday that Russia is likely to leave the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) until the end of 2015 and added that the country might cease its membership in the council next year.

“If the Russian delegation does not retain all of its powers – and most importantly the right to vote – there will be no reason for us to work in PACE under such conditions,” the State Duma speaker was quoted as saying by Interfax, RT wrote.

The comment came after the Russian delegation decided to stop its activities in PACE till the end of the year because of the assembly’s decision to strip Russia of voting rights. Earlier this week Naryshkin described the limitation of Russia’s powers in the PACE as unlawful.

The head of the Russian mission, Aleksey Pushkov, has also said that the exit from PACE was possible.

“We are leaving the Parliamentary Assembly till the end of the year and we congratulate the assembly with passing this decision that I personally hold as unacceptable and that delivers a very serious blow on the dialogue between parliaments in Europe,” Pushkov said.

It practically removes PACE from the main route of this dialogue as in the absence of the Russian delegation the debates in this organization will become just an empty exercise. We will remain in the Council of Europe till the end of 2015 as our fees in this organization have already been paid. We remain members of the CE’s committee of ministers, which means that the cooperation will remain on the government level,” he added.