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Ukrainian delegation at PACE will insist on keeping sanctions on Russia, Pushkov says

January 20, 2015, 15:29 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Another PACE session will be held in Strasbourg on January 26-28
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MOSCOW, January 20. /TASS/. The Ukrainian delegation at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) will insist on keeping West’s sanctions on Russia, head of the international affairs committee of the State Duma Alexey Pushkov said on Tuesday.

“Judging by the Ukrainian representative’s statements at the monitoring commission meeting in Paris, the Ukrainian delegation at PACE will press for keeping sanctions on Russia,” he twitted on Tuesday.

Another PACE session will be held in Strasbourg on January 26-28.

At its April 2014 session, PACE stripped the Russian delegation of the right to vote until January 2015 and excluded it from all Assembly’s management bodies for Crimea’s reunification with Russia. Russian lawmakers then walked out of the session in protest and refused to further participate in the PACE work. Since then, the Russian delegation has not attended the Assembly’s summer and autumn sessions in Strasbourg.

In mid-November 2014, Naryshkin told the press that the Russian delegation was ready to return to the full-format participation in PACE’s work in 2015, adding that in his opinion, PACE has huge potential to help in overcoming the current crisis of political trust in Europe. He also urged his foreign colleagues to renew the Assembly’s agenda, removing all unimportant questions, and adding those that are of primary importance.

In January 2015, the powers of all delegations at PACE are to be formally reapproved.

On December 18, 2014 the Duma Council made a decision to include in Russia’s PACE delegation Duma speaker Sergey Naryshkin and his deputy Sergey Zhelezhnyak. This means that in accordance with the procedural rules, Naryshkin as the delegation’s permanent member can attend the PACE January session that will raise the issue of the return of Assembly powers to Russia.

Naryshkin said on Monday that he was considering “an optimistic scenario of PACE action (towards Russia’s delegation).” “But if other opinion prevails, as for myself, I doubt the expediency of continuation of our work at PACE — at least during 2015,” he said.

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