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STRASBOURG, March 03. /ITAR-TASS/. The Culture Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) has cancelled its trip to Moscow because of the crisis in Ukraine.
The Chairperson of the Committee on Culture, Science, Education and Media has decided to cancel a forthcoming meeting of the committee in Moscow, scheduled for March 11.
In a letter explaining the decision, Ana Gutu (Republic of Moldova) said the “grave crisis situation” following the March 1 decision of the upper house of the Russian parliament had caused the committee’s “profound concern”. The meeting will be held in Paris.
In a separate decision, PACE’s Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights said that the violation of Ukraine’s territorial integrity by Russian armed forces constitutes “a serious violation of the basic principles of the Council of Europe” and has called for a PACE fact-finding mission to Crimea.
Meeting in Paris on Monday, March 3, the committee said it “condemns without reservation the violation of the territorial integrity of Ukraine by armed forces of the Russian Federation over the weekend of 1 and 2 March 2014, and expresses its gravest concern that members of the upper house of the Russian Parliament unanimously authorized such action in advance”.
PACE’s Standing Committee, which brings together around 60 of its leading members and acts in the name of the Assembly between plenary sessions, is also due to discuss the situation in Ukraine at a meeting in Paris on Friday March 7.