MOSCOW, September 12. /TASS/. Russia won’t send its delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) in 2018 unless the rules are amended stating that it is impossible to strip national delegations of their voting rights, Deputy State Duma Speaker Pyotr Tolstoy, who leads the Russian delegation to the Assembly, said.
"In January 2018, there will be the confirmation of powers. We won’t represent our delegation unless a decision is taken on ruling out a possibility of stripping national delegations of powers," the lawmaker stressed.
Tolstoy noted that the Russian delegation will again refuse to take part in the Assembly’s work if the amendments to the PACE regulations are not approved. "We won’t accept that," he said.
The Assembly’s autumn session due in Strasburg in late September-early October has not included the issue in its agenda and the possibilities on approving these amendments are shrinking.
Russia’s possible return to PACE will be discussed with the delegation of the Council of Europe at the 137th Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union in St. Petersburg, he said.
"Certainly, the main issue will be how to bring Russia back to PACE. This issue will be on the agenda," the lawmaker stressed. "We will try to bring closer our positions," he said. "PACE should take the decisions that would fundamentally ensure the rights of all delegations. That’s nonsense to deprive a delegation of its voting rights."