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MOSCOW, June 30. /TASS/. Speaker of Russia’s Federation Council Valentina Matviyenko has confirmed Moscow’s commitment to continue dialogue to resolve the crisis in relations with the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE).
"I want to reiterate our commitment to continue a meaningful dialogue on resolving the crisis in relations between PACE and the Russian delegation at an early date," she said at a meeting with PACE President Pedro Agramunt on Thursday.
In April 2014, Russia’s delegation to PACE was stripped of its basic rights over developments in Ukraine and Crimea’s reunification with Russia. In 2015, PACE, the parliamentary arm of the 47-nation Council of Europe, promoting democracy and human rights across the continent, voted twice on a possibility of restoring the Russian delegation’s powers but the restrictions remain in force. Russia is stripped of the right to vote and take part in the PACE governing bodies and its monitoring activities. In response Russia suspended its participation in all PACE activities till the end of 2015.
In early January 2016, Russia refused to file an application for participation in the January session of the Assembly where the delegations’ powers are confirmed for another year. The Russian delegation’s leadership has repeatedly said that Russia will return to the PACE only if and when all sanctions are lifted.