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Russia’s delegation will skip PACE winter session — lawmaker

January 18, 9:26 UTC+3 MOSCOW
January 15 was the deadline when national delegations were to present their lists to confirm authorities for the first session in the new 2016 year
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© EPA/ZURAB KURTSIKIDZE

MOSCOW, January 18. /TASS/. Russia’s delegation will not attend the winter session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), the deputy head of the country’s delegation Leonid Slutsky told TASS on Monday.

"We will skip the January session," said Slutsky, who chairs the State Duma Committee for CIS Affairs, Eurasian Integration and Contacts with Compatriots.

A letter to PACE President Anne Brasseur, which is signed by the speakers of the Russian parliament’ houses, has been sent informing that a request on the Russian delegation’s powers in 2016 will be made later, he said.

A source familiar with the situation earlier told TASS that the Russian delegation had not sent its list for participation in the January session of PACE. January 15 was the deadline when national delegations were to present their lists to confirm authorities for the first session in the new 2016 year.

Slutsky said Russia will come back to Strasbourg only with equal conditions and in case of guarantees of returning all the powers to the country’s delegation.

Russia’s State Duma Speaker Sergey Naryshkin earlier said any discrimination or sanctions against Russia’s delegation were unacceptable.

Russia’s delegation at PACE was deprived 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. The Russian delegation has been skipping PACE sessions in protest against the sanctions.

PACE’s winter session will be held in Strasbourg on January 25-29.

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