Russian delegation to skip 2016, return to PACE after all sanctions lifted

The Russian delegation has refused to take part in PACE activity, which has seriously undermined the authority and capacities of the organization, Pushkov said.

The Russian delegation has refused to take part in PACE activity, which has seriously undermined the authority and capacities of the organization, Pushkov said.

Reuters
Alexei Pushkov calls practically improbable Russia's return to PACE in 2016

State Duma International Affairs Committee Chairman Alexei Pushkov has called practically improbable Russia's return to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) in 2016.

"We are not taking part in PACE activity at present, and we will come back only after all sanctions against the Russian delegation are lifted. Anyway, our engagement in PACE is practically improbable in 2016, there could be the question only of 2017," Pushkov said at State Duma hearings on Russia-West relations.

In his opinion, the PACE majority has waged "a political war [on Russia], and we have offered a proportionate response."

The Russian delegation has refused to take part in PACE activity, which has seriously undermined the authority and capacities of the organization, Pushkov said.

"Western political elites are not homogenous. For instance, the Council of Europe did not declare a political war on us. I mean our contacts maintained at the level of the executive authorities, at the level of Council of Europe administration represented by Thorbjorn Jagland," the committee chairman said.

The Council of Europe "seeks to keep Russia within the Council of Europe, probably, for its own strategic, long-term purposes," he said.

"This duality exists in Council of Europe entities. The PACE majority has a pronounced anti-Russian position, while the Council of Europe administration is trying to somehow mitigate this conflict," the parliamentarian said.

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