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STRASBOURG, September 15. /TASS/. Moscow expects Serbia’s support in restoring the rights of Russia’s delegation in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), Federation Council Speaker Valentina Matviyenko said on Thursday.
"The climate in PACE has changed" and there is an understanding that Russia needs to come back to the organization, Matviyenko said at the meeting with Serbian National Assembly President Maja Gojkovic on the sidelines of the European conference of parliament chairs in Strasbourg.
"We hope that in January the rights of Russia’s delegation will be restored in full. Of course, we expect the support of parliamentarians of Serbia," Matviyenko stressed.
Russia’s delegation at PACE was deprived of its key rights in April 2014 over developments in Ukraine and Crimea’s reunification with Russia. In 2015, PACE 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.
Owing to these restrictions, the Russian delegation suspended its participation in the PACE work until late 2015. The leadership of the Russian delegation has repeatedly said it would return to PACE only if all the sanctions were lifted. In January 2016, Russia refused to bid for confirming its powers this year.