Russian delegation to skip PACE's January session

The Assembly will hold a session in Strasbourg on January 25-29.

The Assembly will hold a session in Strasbourg on January 25-29.

Reuters
The Assembly will hold a session in Strasbourg on January 25-29

The Russian delegation has decided to not participate in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) session, which opens in Strasbourg on January 25, first deputy head of the delegation, Chairman of the State Duma CIS Affairs Committee Leonid Slutsky has said.

"A letter signed by the speakers of the Russian parliament's chambers will now be sent to PACE President Anne Brasseur in order to announce that a request for the Russian delegation's powers in 2016 will be made later. We will skip the January session," Slutsky told reporters on Jan. 18.

Russia will return to Strasbourg only "on equal terms", if it is guaranteed the reinstatement of all powers of the Russian delegation, the parliamentarian said.

State Duma Speaker Sergei Naryshkin has repeatedly said, "we will not tolerate any discrimination, and any sanctions against the Russian delegation are inadmissible," Slutsky noted.

The Assembly will hold a session in Strasbourg on January 25-29.

The Assembly deprived the Russian delegation in 2014 of the right to vote, to be represented in the PACE ruling bodies and to observe elections in connection with the events around Crimea and southeastern Ukraine. The 'sanctions' were confirmed by a majority of Assembly delegates in 2015, and the Russian delegation declined to participate in the PACE activity and practically severed all contacts with it. In line with the established procedure, the January session will confirm powers of national delegations, but it is known that a proposal to extend the sanctions against the Russian delegation has been put forward at the Assembly.

All rights reserved by Rossiyskaya Gazeta.