STRASBOURG, April 10. /ITAR-TASS/. Russian delegation has left the PACE spring session due to restriction of its powers, head of Russia's delegation Alexei Pushkov, who chairs the State Duma Committee on International Affairs, said on Thursday.
On Thursday, the PACE has adopted a resolution regarding Russia: the Russian delegation has been stripped of the voting right in the Assembly for Crimea’s accession and expulsed from all ruling institutions until the end of the year. 145 members have cast affirmative votes, 21 deputies voted against the resolution and 22 abstained.
The parliamentarians backed a report by head of the PACE Monitoring Committee Stefan Schennach, who proposed to choose the so-called “soft option” of sanctions and deprive the Russian delegation of the right to vote at PACE sessions until the end of the year, as well as expulse its representatives from all ruling institutions of the Assembly and missions of electoral observers.
Earlier it was reported that the Russian delegation to PACE was absent in the session hall on Thursday, where debates on possible sanctions against the Russian delegation were held.
PACE has refused to freeze Russia's membership in the Assembly. The parliamentarians of the Council of Europe have turned down an amendment proposed by Briton Robert Walter who suggested annulment of the powers of the Russian delegation at PACE.
Alexei Pushkov dismissed the PACE debates as “farce”. “What is going on here is farce. On Wednesday, when the situation in Crimea was discussed, obvious facts were denied, but new "facts" were invented on the spot about "the alleged murders of Crimean Tatars",” he said.
“The Ukrainian delegation was telling blatant lies, but no one except the Russian delegation, attempted to repel them. On Wednesday we were demonstrated a full example of "a democratic discussion", which rather resembled a gathering of an inquisition which continues until now. The Russian delegation has refused to take part in that farce. If PACE deputies, who consider themselves an inquisition, want to practice their skills let them rehearse without us,” Pushkov stressed.
The Russian delegation has been considering a possibility of quitting PACE altogether with no return to PACE again. "We are absolutely not interested in what is going on in the session hall. The main problem we are to settle is whether Russia should remain at PACE any longer," Pushkov said.