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Russian delegation to ponder reciprocal moves in PACE soon

April 14, 2014, 9:14 UTC+3 MOSCOW

"We cannot put up with the situation that our delegation which is one of the largest PACE delegations does not have the right to speak up at plenary meetings," member of parliamentary committee says

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MOSCOW, April 14. /ITAR-TASS/. Russian delegation in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) will discuss Russia’s return steps in PACE soon, particularly the demand to repay the country’s contribution in the Assembly made last January and exceeding more than 22 million euro now, a source in Russian delegation told Izvestia daily.

He noted that these monetary funds should have been spent for funding of the work of Russian lawmakers in PACE and their participation in election observer missions.

“If we do not participate in PACE activity at full measure spending is groundless,” the source said.

On April 10, PACE has adopted a tough resolution in which the Assembly condemned Russia for accession of the Republic of Crimea and the Crimean city of Sevastopol, long-standing home base for Russia’s Black Sea naval fleet on the Crimean peninsula, to the country, and has taken several sanction measures against the country. In particular, members of Russian delegation are stripped of the voting right in taking any decisions by PACE and PACE committees and cannot participate in meetings of PACE governing bodies - the Bureau, the Presidential Committee and the Standing Committee - as well as electoral monitoring missions until the end of the year. In retaliation to these PACE restrictions Russian delegation has left the PACE session.

Already this week the speakers of lower and upper houses of Russian parliament may make a statement over further relations between Russian delegation and PACE and it is not ruled out that powers of Russian delegation may be fully suspended, the daily reported.

The Federation Council upper house committee for international affairs will discuss the work of Russian delegation in PACE on Monday. Lawmakers will sum up results of their visit for the PACE session and will scrutinise current situation, member of the parliamentary committee and the country’s delegation in PACE Igor Morozov told the daily.

“We should study the PACE response and find it out whether it meets Russia’s interests in this organisation. On the other hand, this is already obvious for us that PACE had exhausted its potential and the PACE regulations should be changed for Russia’s participation in this organisation. We cannot put up with the situation that our delegation which is one of the largest PACE delegations does not have the right to speak up at plenary meetings, while delegations consisting of 2-4 people have such right,” Morozov said.

He noted that restrictions imposed on Russian delegation are unfair, unconstructive and may result in loss of all partnership relations.

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