French MP hopes rights of Russia's PACE delegation to be restored

Mariani hopes sanctions imposed on the Russian delegation will be lifted

French National Assembly member Thierry Mariani is hopeful that sanctions imposed on the Russian delegation will be lifted at the January session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE).

"If truth be told, it is a silly situation. We should discuss [the problem of lifting the sanctions] with Russia, but, at the same time, Russia cannot be here. That is why I hope that they [PACE] will vote in favor of terminating the sanctions," Mariani told reporters after a meeting with Russian State Duma Speaker Sergei Naryshkin on Dec. 17.

However, a large number of PACE member countries have not changed their stance towards Russia, he noted.

But a new PACE president should be appointed in January, and this change may influence the attitude to Russia, the French parliamentarian said.

Since the spring of 2014, the Russian delegation has not effectively taken part in PACE's work because this organization imposed sanctions on Russia's delegation, stripping it of its key rights, including the voting rights, 'over the situation in Ukraine and Crimea'.

Moscow, for its part, has threatened to reduce its contribution to the Council of Europe budget by one-third if the rights of the Russian delegation to PACE are not restored.

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