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"Far-reaching consequences": Expert warns on effects of PACE Russia ban

April 14, 2014, 15:26 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Russia had other platforms for advancing its interests in Europe, Mikhail Margelov said
1 pages in this article
 Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (archive)

Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (archive)

© EPA/PARICK SEEGER

MOSCOW, April 14. /ITAR-TASS/. Delegates who stripped Russia of the right to vote on the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) may not realize how "far-reaching the consequences of that move could be", a senior international affairs expert told colleagues of the Russian Federation Council's upper house.

Russia had other platforms for advancing its interests in Europe, chairman Mikhail Margelov told fellow members of the parliamentary international affairs committee who noted regret that PACE, which had been considered a platform for dialogue with European colleagues, had turned "into a rostrum for a monologue and mutual accusations".

Proposals to change PACE procedures were called for by Russian delegate Senator Igor Morozov if the delegation decided to return to the group in January 2015. Questions would be asked about the contribution Russia made to the organisation. “If we are paying this amount (of 23 million euro a year), what do we have in exchange?” he asked.

Chairman Margelov said Russia’s exclusion from electing the Council of Europe’s secretary general should also be discussed. “We won’t be electing him. Who will this person be?" he asked.

"How will he reflect our interests? I am not sure that colleagues in the assembly stripping the Russian delegation of the right to vote realized how far-reaching the consequences of that move could be,” he said, noting an open invitation to PACE's chair to attend a session of the Inter-Parliamentary Assembly of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).

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