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MOSCOW, June 24. /TASS/. A resolution adopted by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe on Wednesday confirms negative status quo in its relations with Russia, the delegation's head and chairman of the parliamentary lower house Foreign Affairs committee said after the Strasbourg-based group decided at its June session not to annul the credentials of the Russian delegation.
"The PACE resolution has in fact confirmed the status quo existing between the Assembly and Russia as a result of sanctions introduced against the Russian delegation at PACE’s January session," Alexey Pushkov told TASS, noting that although PACE decided not to annul the previously ratified credentials, it would keep in place all sanctions against the Russian delegation decided in January.
"This means that PACE does not want to close the door to dialogue with Russia as the annulment of the credentials would bring the situation to a complete, and probably irreversible, deadlock, while the confirmation of the credentials’ validity neither improves nor substantially worsens the situation," Pushkov said.
He reiterated that the Russian delegation — which has not taken part in the work of PACE since the sanctions were applied — would not cooperate with the assembly until the end of 2015, but it was ready to re-establish dialogue after the restrictions were lifted.
The parliamentary arm of the 47-nation Council of Europe, promoting democracy and human rights across the continent, stripped Russia of voting rights following events in Ukraine last year. It suspended both Russia's right to sit on its governing bodies and participation in election observer missions.
Russian delegates left the April 2014 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 this year's January session, PACE extended sanctions until April. In response, Moscow severed contact with the group for another year.
On Wednesday, the assembly adopted a resolution confirming the validity of the Russian delegation’s credentials ratified in January.
"As a signal of its commitment to an open and constructive dialogue with the Russian delegation, the Assembly, while noting the sanctions currently in place, resolves not to annul, at this time, the already ratified credentials of the Russian delegation," the resolution said.