The situation in the Council of Europe can have severe consequences, the foreign Ministry said

© RIA Novosti / Alexei Vitvitskiy in fotobanka of the countries participating in the meeting of the Council of Europe in Brussels. Archival photoThe situation in the Council of Europe can have severe consequences, the foreign Ministry said© RIA Novosti / Alexei Vitvitskiy the image Bank

The situation in the Council of Europe is very complex, there is a crisis, which can have pretty serious consequences, told reporters on Friday the Director of the European cooperation Department of Russian foreign Ministry Andrey Kelin.

On Friday, he held consultations with colleagues from the Finnish foreign Ministry.

«The current consultation was of particular interest because Finland will be the end of this year to preside in the Council of Europe (COE), the situation there is very complex, there is a crisis, which can have pretty serious consequences. It is associated not only with the absence of our parliamentarians in the parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe for quite a long time, but with the fact that there is some danger associated with the membership of Azerbaijan, and also Turkey ceased to pay a significant share of its contribution to the COE. Discussed that can make the presidency of a country like Finland, the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe and how it may affect the situation, especially since the presidency of two important events — the 70th anniversary of this organization in may next year and the election of a new Secretary General in June,» — said the Russian diplomat.

Kelin added that they also discussed the EU summit on migration and adopted the decisions political and military issues related to NATO’s activities including the participation in large-scale maneuvers in the early fall of this year, which will be held on the territory of NATO countries, Finland and Sweden, as well as the work of the Council Russia-NATO.

At the April session of 2014 because of the situation with Crimea the Russian delegation was stripped of several powers (the ability to vote, to participate in the monitoring activities of the Assembly and participate in statutory bodies of the parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, PACE). Next year the PACE having considered several times the question of sanctions against Russia are not lifted and added new items.

The Russian delegation said it was impossible to work in such conditions and ceased to attend the sessions. 2016 Moscow is not sending the required for accreditation of the delegation documents.

Russia has repeatedly made proposals for overcoming the crisis. In particular, the Russian delegation proposed to insert in the Charter of the PACE impossibility of application of sanctions in respect of the delegations. However, until now these proposals have not been considered in the Assembly.

At the end of June last year, the conflict between Moscow and Strasbourg have reached a new level, the Russian side stated that it intends to suspend some payments to the budget of the Council of Europe for 2017 as long as the credentials of the delegation to PACE will not be restored in full. Despite the suspension of the payment of an instalment, the Russian side has continued to work on ratification of Convention documents.

In March of this year the PACE for the first time acknowledged that the return of Turkey to ordinary taxpayers, and Russia’s decision to suspend payments for 2017 and part of its contribution for the year 2018 was the cause of financial difficulties of the organization. According to one of the main committees of the Assembly — permanent, «the budget of the Assembly for the year 2018 is less than 17.5 million euros.» The organization had to «freeze the budget by 9 percent,» the deficit amounted to 1.5 million euros.

In April of this year the Secretary General of the Council of Europe thorbjørn Jagland was first announced possible sanctions against Moscow if it continued not to pay.

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