YAKUTSK, June 26. /TASS/. Russia will cooperate with the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) only under equal conditions and non-discriminating terms, speaker of the upper house of the Russian parliament, Valentina Matviyenko, said on Friday.
On Wednesday, PACE extended authorises of the Russian delegation though keeping the earlier sanctions: 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. Later on, PACE’s President Anne Brasseur said authorities of the Russian delegation may be on agenda in January, 2016.
"The Russian delegation does not deserve this politicised, discriminating solution," speaker of the Russian parliament’s upper house said. "We are sorry PACE has followed the Russo-phobia moods, which somebody in Europe is developing." Russia does not refuse from contacts with PACE and will continue dialogues with European parliamentarians, she added.
"We are not expecting sops and favours, we have self-respect, we are ready and interested in continuing cooperation with PACE, though under equal conditions. We are not prepared for cooperation on discriminating terms."
The speaker regretted PACE "which was organised to be a platform for dialogues between legislators of the Council of Europe members" gave in under the pressure and could not demonstrate its independence as an international parliamentary organisation. "By its earlier decision PACE has cornered itself by taking that absolutely incorrect, non-parliamentary, discriminative decision against the Russian delegation."
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.