GENEVA, October 19. /TASS/. Russia will resume its representation in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) only when the Russian delegation is granted back all of its rights, and first of all, the right to vote, speaker of Russia’s State Duma (lower parliament house) Sergey Naryshkin said on Monday.
"The Russian delegation should be gratned legal rights, first of all, the right to vote," he said on the sidelines of the session of the Inter-Parliamentary Union underway in Switzerland’s Geneva.
"If the aggressive [anti-Russian] minority doesn’t want to refill the PACE atmosphere with the spirit of democracy, let them have all their sessions and discussions without us," Naryshkin stressed.
The PACE deprived the Russian delegation of the right to vote and take part in the PACE charter bodies and monitoring activities in April 2014 following Crimea’s reunification with Russia. In June 2015, a PACE session extended the Russian delegation’s mandate but did not lift the anti-Russian sanctions.
PACE President Anne Brasseur the issue of the Russian delegation’s competences would be discussed in January 2016. The Russian delegation has been skipping PACE sessions in protest against the sanctions.