STRASBOURG, October 2 (Itar-Tass) —— Russia is not dramatizing the situation in the Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) and is sure that Strasbourg will not reject Russia’s participation, including financial, in the organization’s programs. Leonid Slutsky, the deputy head of the Russian delegation to the Assembly and PACE vice speaker, presented such an upshot of the Monday debate in an interview with Itar-Tass. He pointed out that Russia is one of the biggest sponsors of the Council of Europe and contributes about 30 million euro to its budget.
“The debate so far becomes more acute. The monitoring commission seems to have made a concession by reducing the number of points in its recommendations regarding Russia that it addresses to the Ministerial Committee of the Council of Europe,” Slutsky noted. “In reality, the Assembly has not abandoned the plan to refer the matter to the level of an executive structure,” he said.
Slutsky believes that such recommendations made without Russia’s participation cannot but cause suspicion. “This is a negative sign,” Slutsky believes. “If the Council of Europe plays such games with Russia now, this is an unpleasant signal to Moscow,” he said.
At the same time the MP says there is no need to dramatize the situation. “Russia is one of the five biggest sponsors, and its contribution is quite significant, (some 30 million euro in 2012),” the PACE vice speaker noted. “They can do nothing about Russia. They need Russia’s participation, and such pills mean no more than attempts to make a negative impact on Russia’s reputation. We will continue working,” he said.