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STRASBOURG, January 26. /TASS/. Russian delegates to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) did not attend Monday’s meeting of the PACE Bureau, said deputy head of Russia’s delegation Leonid Slutsky.
“This is connected with sanctions imposed on the delegation in April,” Slutsky said. “We were excluded from leading bodies then.”
Russia’s dialogue with PACE was suspended at an April session last year when the assembly stripped it of voting rights until January 2015 following Crimea’s reunification with Russia, suspending its right to be represented in the assembly’s leading bodies and to participate in election-observation missions.
Russian parliamentary delegates then left the session before its official completion as a gesture of protest and refused to take part in future PACE activities, ignoring the assembly's summer and autumn sessions. In January, PACE is scheduled to formally reaffirm all delegations’ powers.
The assembly started its winter session in Strasbourg on Monday. One of the central issues on the agenda is reaffirmation of the powers of the Russian delegation.