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PACE to consider ‘Crimean sanctions’ against Russian delegation

April 10, 2014, 10:22 UTC+3 STRASBOURG
The PACE intends to denounce “the violation of Ukraine’s territorial integrity” and send “a strong message” to Moscow
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General view of the room of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg (archive)

General view of the room of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg (archive)

© AP Photo/Christian Lutz

STRASBOURG, April 10. /ITAR-TASS/. The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) on Thursday will consider the issue of sanctions against Russia’s delegation for reunification of Crimea with Russia. The Assembly will discuss a report by head of the PACE Monitoring Committee Stefan Schennach, which deals with the Russian delegation’s powers in the PACE.

The reporter proposes to choose the so-called “soft option” of sanctions and deprive the Russian delegation of the right to vote at PACE meetings until the end of the year, but not to freeze Russia’s membership in the Assembly, as British MP Robert Walter proposes. The report’s concept has been supported by two-thirds of the PACE relevant committee.

Schennach’s draft resolution calls Russia’s action on reunification with Crimea a “violation of international law.” Thereby, the PACE intends to denounce “the violation of Ukraine’s territorial integrity” and send “a strong message” to Moscow.

The draft resolution also says that “a political dialogue should remain the most preferable method of search for compromise” and that “there should be no return to the cold war stereotypes.” The suspension of the Russian delegation’s powers would make such a dialogue impossible, parliamentarians of the Council of Europe admit. In this connection, the PACE in its resolution is ready “to confirm the powers of the Russian delegation,” but at the same time “to suspend its right to vote until the end of the 2014 session.”

Head of the Russian delegation in PACE, Chairman of the International Affairs Committee at the State Duma lower house of parliament Alexei Pushkov has stated that “Russia is ready for dialogue with PACE,” but “if the issue of stripping the Russian delegation of its powers in the Assembly is raised, Russia will quit the organization itself”. “We will not stick to an organization that is ready to exclude us,” Pushkov added.

Deputy Head of the Russian delegation, Chairman of the Duma Committee on CIS affairs Leonid Slutsky said for his part that any “Crimean sanctions” of the PACE are unlawful and unjustified. “However, not to vote does not mean to keep silent, so we will continue to persist in our stand,” he said.

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