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MOSCOW, April 14. /TASS/. Russia’s absence from the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) will be a good "cold shower" for PACE, Russian State Duma Chairman Sergey Naryshkin said on Tuesday.
"You know that because of the aggressive position of a number of countries represented in PACE, the Russian delegation was stripped from its voting right. By such a shameful decision, it [PACE] significantly smeared its own reputation as an open democratic platform for equal open dialogue," Naryshkin said.
"In response, we, of course, had to halt our work in the Parliamentary Assembly for a year. I think that such a ‘cold shower’ will be good for the Parliamentary Assembly," he noted.
Last year, PACE, the parliamentary arm of the 47-nation Council of Europe, which promotes democracy and human rights across the continent, stripped Russia of voting rights following Crimea’s accession to the country.
It suspended both Russia's right to sit on its governing bodies as well as Russian participation in election observer missions. Russian parliamentary delegates left the April session before its official completion as a gesture of protest and refused to take part in future PACE activities, staying away from the assembly's summer and autumn sessions.
At the January session, PACE extended its sanctions against Russia’s delegation until April. In response, Moscow severed contact with the group for another year.