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State Duma deputies urge Russian withdrawal from PACE

April 17, 2014, 16:21 UTC+3 MOSCOW
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MOSCOW, April 17. /ITAR-TASS/. State Duma deputies from the Foreign Affairs Committee are urging Russian withdrawal from the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), rebuffing the PACE vote to strip Russia of voting rights as punishment for events in Ukraine.

A motion goes to the Duma plenary session on Friday, a committee spokesman told ITAR-TASS. This points to “strong disagreement over the double-standard policy and discrimination of Russia expressed in the resolution of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe” to suspend the Russian delegation's voting rights, its right to be represented in the assembly’s leading bodies and to participate in election-observation missions.

“Led by those political forces who see the developments in Ukraine of past months through the prism of a new ‘Cold War’, PACE has introduced sanctions against the delegation of the Russian Federation Council (upper house of parliament) until the end of 2014,” the statement says.

“Under conditions of retaliatory restrictions further meaningful participation in the Assembly’s work seems impossible,” it goes on, adding that “budgetary funds allocated by the Russian Federation to finance the Council of Europe, which has PACE as its parliamentary body, could be used more effectively in the Russian Federation.”

Russia could continue its work in the group provided that “the rights of the Russian Federation Council’s delegation and the possibility for its participation in developing and making decisions are completely restored."

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