Slutsky commented on the situation around the work of the Russian delegation to PACE

© RIA Novosti / Vladimir Fedorenkova in fotoreceptor Committee of the State Duma on international Affairs Leonid Slutsky. Archival photoSlutsky commented on the situation around the work of the Russian delegation to PACE© RIA Novosti / Vladimir Fedorenkova the image Bank

Russian lawmakers are counting on the common sense of my colleagues in Strasbourg, do not want to lose site of the PACE, but can’t stay, «whipping boys,» said the head of the Duma Committee on international Affairs Leonid Slutsky.

«We hope for common sense of the Strasbourg colleagues, we don’t want to lose this platform, I don’t want to lose this platform, I gave the PACE… But we can’t continue to be «whipping boys» for their own money,» said Slutsky on a press-conferences on Thursday.

In his opinion, the Council of Europe, Committee of Ministers and, first and foremost, the parliamentary Assembly should decide the question of further cooperation between Strasbourg and Moscow.

«We hope the decision, which will take PACE in the fall, will be constructive. Have to wait a bit,» added the MP.

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 the ordinary taxpayers and the Russian decision to suspend payments for 2017 and part of its contribution for the year 2018, became the reason 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.

Slutsky commented on the situation around the work of the Russian delegation to PACE© RIA Novosti, Infographicsrussia Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE)

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