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No Russia in PACE if sanctions prolonged — official

August 19, 2014, 17:05 UTC+3 MOSCOW

“If sanctions are prolonged, I see no reasons for the Russian delegation to continue working in PACE next year,” head of the delegation Alexei Pushkov says

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 Alexei Pushkov (right)

Alexei Pushkov (right)

© ITAR-TASS/Mitya Aleshkovsky

MOSCOW, August 19. /ITAR-TASS/. Russian delegation will visit session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) in January but will refuse to continue working there in 2015 if sanctions are prolonged, head of the delegation Alexei Pushkov said on Tuesday.

Chairman of the State Duma foreign affairs committee confirmed that Duma speaker Sergei Naryshkin will come to France on September 1-2 to participate in the presidential committee meeting together with Pushkov at the invitation of PACE chairwoman Anne Brasseur.

“The January session should confirm all delegations’ authorities if nobody objects,” said Pushkov. The key issue, he added, was whether PACE would propose to prolong sanctions against Russia. “These initiatives can be voiced by some countries whose delegations are overtly hostile against us,” he said citing the delegations of the Baltics, Sweden, Georgia and some other countries.

“If sanctions are prolonged, I see no reasons for the Russian delegation to continue working in PACE next year,” the official said. At the same time, much will depend “on the overall mood that will prevail in PACE at that moment”. If it gained an understanding that sanctions led to nothing but Russia’s refusal to participate in PACE work and were therefore useless and hit the Assembly itself, such proposals would not be passed, the deputy said.

In PACE’s April session the Russian delegation was stripped of vote, excluded from the governing bodies and PACE monitoring missions until the end of 2014, as Crimea joined the Russian Federation. After the resolution had been adopted, the delegation departed from Strasbourg earlier than expected and declined to visit the Assembly’s sessions in June and October.

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