The Russian mission to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe is leaving its session and terminating all the contacts with the Assembly until the end of the year, Chairman of the Russian State Duma Committee for International Affairs Alexey Pushkov said on January 28.
“We are terminating our participation in PACE,” Pushkov briefed after the Assembly voted on the Russian mission mandate. He said Russia is suspending all the contacts with the Assembly until that time.
On January 28, the Assembly again deprived the Russian delegation of its major powers, voting rights and the right to participate in some of the Assembly’s governing bodies. The decision will be in effect until the April Session.
In April 2014, the PACE stripped the Russian mission of its key powers (the voting right and the right to participate in the Assembly’s governing bodies and monitoring missions) over its stance on Crimea. The Russian mission qualified such measures as discriminatory and walked out of the PACE Session and did not participate in the Assembly’s following sessions until the end of the last year.
These anti-Russian actions have already triggered the first response from Moscow. Head of the Committee on Constitutional Legislation Andrei Klishas said today that Russia must stop cooperation with PACE, which he described as "an organization of European bureaucrats that is rapidly losing its authority." He said Moscow attached too big an importance to both PACE and the Council of Europe, in general. “Behavior of the PACE majority is nothing but impudence. They fear that the principles of the freedom of speech - to which the Russian parliamentarians are committed - will ruin the pile of lies, which the Neo-Nazi regime in Kiev hides behind with the help of the European leaders,” the senator said.