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EU ambassador in Moscow asks Russia not to hurry to leave PACE

January 22, 2015, 12:49 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The ambassador said a hasty decision to curtail Russia’s presence in the PACE won't help maintain relations between Russia and Europe
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©  EPA/OLIVIER HOSLET

MOSCOW, January 22. /TASS/. Russia’s hypothetical walkout of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe will by no means help maintain Russia-EU relations at the current level, the EU’s ambassador to Russia, Vigaudas Usackas, told a news conference on Thursday.

“I do not believe that a hasty decision to curtail Russia’s presence in the PACE will help maintain relations between Russia and Europe,” he said.

“One should be aware that the results of voting in the PACE are an expression of position not only of the authorities, but of the proxies the EU citizens had voted for,” he said.

The conflict between Russia and PACE reached its peak in April last year as the European body approved an anti-Russian resolution over the political crisis in Ukraine, depriving Moscow’s delegation of the right to vote, and banning it from participation in ruling bodies and monitoring missions till the end of the year.The Russian delegation did not attended the Assembly’s summer and autumn sessions in Strasbourg.

In January 2015, the powers of all delegations at PACE are to be formally reapproved. Russian State Duma Speaker Sergey Naryshkin said he doubts if the Russian delegation should stay at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) throughout 2015, if it is stripped of powers again during the assembly’s winter session.

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