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MOSCOW, January 29. /TASS/. The chairman of the State Duma’s committee for international affairs, Alexey Pushkov, is certain that the Russian delegation’s absence from the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe does not mean Russia’s self-isolation.
"We shall go on working within the OSCE. It is the PACE that has refused to conduct a dialogue on equitable terms and thereby harmed its role in Europe," Pushkov twitted on Thursday.
On January 28, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe made a decision to prolong sanctions against the Russian delegation and strip it of voting rights and the right to participate in the Assembly’s leadership bodies.
A corresponding amendment to the resolution on the Russian delegation’s powers based on Austrian rapporteur Stefan Schennach’s report was approved by 148 votes, with 64 nays.
After the PACE decided to suspend Russia’s right to vote and participate in the Assembly’s leadership bodies till April 2015 the head of the national delegation to the PACE, Alexey Pushkov, said that Russia was terminating its participation in the Assembly till the end of the year.
He also said that the PACE’s decision to prolong sanctions against the Russian delegation brought to the forefront the issue of Russia’s withdrawal from the Council of Europe.
"I would like to point out that so far Russia has not envisaged the possibility of quitting the Council of Europe. Now the PACE’s decision has made such a possibility an issue of the day," Pushkov said. He added that Russia’s participation in the Council of Europe would be considered at the end of 2015 depending on the political situation that will emerge by then.