Russia's top lawmaker calls on PACE president to return powers to Russian delegation

Valentina Matviyenko called PACE’s decision to strip the Russian delegation of the important powers "absurd, biased, illegitimate, politicized".

Russian Federation Council Chairperson Valentina Matviyenko has called at today’s meeting with PACE President Anne Brasseur for doing everything possible so that PACE will make a correct decision on Russian delegation’s powers at its January session.

According to Matviyenko, a precondition for "Russian delegation’s return to working in PACE is full-scale and full-format restoration of our rights and powers." "We address you with a request to use all opportunities so that PACE makes a correct decision at its January session. I ask you to convey our position to PACE leadership," she noted.

PACE’s decision to strip the Russian delegation of the important powers is "absurd, biased, illegitimate, politicized," Matviyenko said. "I do not rule out that the decision about the Russian delegation was possibly made under the pressure from Washington, Brussels, some Russophobic, anti-Russian forces," the lawmaker stressed.

Brasseur reminded that PACE imposed sanctions on the Russian delegation after "the annexation of Crimea" adding that this is a violation of international law. However, the PACE president said it is important to continue dialogue, meet, talk, listen to each other, and try to understand each other’s positions. This is the only way to find common grounds, she stressed.

Last year, the parliamentary arm of the 47-nation Council of Europe, promoting democracy and human rights across the continent, stripped Russia of voting rights following events in Ukraine. It suspended both Russia's right to sit on its governing bodies and Russian participation in election observer missions.

Russian parliamentary delegates left the April session before its official completion as a gesture of protest and refused to take part in future PACE activities, staying away from the assembly's summer and autumn sessions. At the January session, PACE extended its sanctions against Russia’s delegation until April. In response, Moscow severed contact with the group for another year.

First published by TASS.

All rights reserved by Rossiyskaya Gazeta.

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