MOSCOW, July 14. /TASS/. Extension of anti-Russian sanctions into next year by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) would mean the organization being prevented from observing 2016 elections to the State Duma, Alexey Pushkov, head of the lower house Foreign Affairs committee, told a news briefing on Tuesday.
"If sanctions remain in 2016, Russia will not participate in PACE activities," Pushkov also warned.
"The organization’s observers may privately attend the elections, but without any access to governing bodies," he added. "That means PACE monitoring of the parliamentary election process, the organization’s main activity in Russia, will be impossible, as well as any reports on human rights in Crimea."
This January’s PACE session confirmed imposition of anti-Russia sanctions until April in protest at events in Ukraine. Russia replied by suspending its work in the organization.