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Russia to abstain from PACE sessions unless its delegation’s powers restored

June 18, 2014, 19:25 UTC+3 MOSCOW
At its spring session PACE deprived the Russian delegation of the right to vote citing Crimea’s reunification with Russia and excluded it from the governing bodies of the organisation till year end
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© ITAR-TASS/Mitya Aleshkovsky

MOSCOW, June 18. /ITAR-TASS/. Russia will not take part in the June and October sessions of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) unless the powers of the Russian delegation are restored in full, the chairman of the State Duma committee for international affairs, Alexei Pushkov, told a news conference on Wednesday.

“If PACE maintains a discriminatory status for Russia before the year end, I cannot see a possibility of our delegation's participation in the PACE session in October,” said Pushkov, who also heads the Russian delegation at PACE.

At its spring session PACE deprived the Russian delegation of the right to vote citing Crimea’s reunification with Russia and excluded it from the governing bodies of the organisation till the year end. In accordance with PACE regulations, full or partial restoring of the Russian delegation’s powers could be put for voting after January 2015.

At the same time, PA reserves the right to annul all the powers of the Russian members in PACE if “Moscow does not lower tensions and return Crimea (to Ukraine).”

In June PACE President Anne Brasseur asked the speaker of Russia’s State Duma, Sergei Naryshkin to ensure the presence of Russian MPs at the June session of PACE, even though with slashed powers.

Naryshkin reaffirmed his position, which suggests that the full scope of powers of the Russian delegation should be restored. “This is a mandatory prior condition for the resumption of full-scale activities of the Russian MPs in that inter-parliamentary body,” the Duma report said earlier.

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