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Russian lawmakers want to redistribute PACE fee to benefit Crimean kindergartens

April 16, 2014, 14:17 UTC+3 MOSCOW
April 10, PACE resolved to strip Russia of voting rights and expel it from the organization's managing authorities until the end of 2014 for Crimea's accession into Russia
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© ITAR-TASS/Alexander Ryumin

MOSCOW, April 16. /ITAR-TASS/. Senate members of Russia's parliamentary upper house have voted to redistribute part of Russian's contribution to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) to upgrade pre-school education in Crimea and the peninsula's Russian federal city of Sevastopol instead.

The move follows a PACE vote to strip Russia of assembly voting rights as a censure over events in Ukraine.

“It would be logical to divert the money from this idle talk — one billion rubles — to a good cause... This will show our positive mood to our PACE colleagues,” said Vladimir Petrov, Deputy Chairman of Federation Council Budget and Financial Markets Committee on Wednesday.

Upper house Speaker Valentina Matviyenko, underscoring Russia's rebuttal of PACE's snub, stated:
“Our delegation will not be present for half a year, while PACE members with marginal thinking will be travelling extensively, conducting monitoring, drinking coffee and having good meals at Russia's expense. The proposal is reasonable.”

Deputy Speaker Ilyas Umakhanov said lawmakers from the State Duma and Federation Council members would continue discussions on further participation in the assembly's work.

"We're discussing... suspension of our participation in PACE events until the year end, the size of our financial contribution and the payment procedure," Umakhanov said.

April 10, PACE resolved to strip Russia of voting rights and expel it from the organization's managing authorities until the end of 2014 for Crimea's accession into Russia.

Russia's delegation condemned the sanction as unfair and illegitimate, leaving the session discussing the move.

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