STRASBOURG, January 28. /TASS/. The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) is due to consider on Wednesday the issue of restoring the voting rights of the Russian delegation.
The discussion will focus on the draft resolution based on a report by Austrian delegate Stefan Schennach, who chairs the PACE monitoring committee. The document says that the Ukrainian conflict cannot be resolved "without a full-fledged participation and the political will of Russia."
The draft resolution acknowledges the need for a constructive dialogue between PACE and Russia and therefore suggests "ratifying the powers of the Russian delegation" and returning it the rights to vote.
PACE stripped the Russian delegation of the powers to vote and excluded it from all of its governing bodies through to January 2015 at a session in April 2014. The move came after Crimea rejoined Russia following a referendum.
In response, the members of the Russian delegation left the session before it was officially over and refused to take part in the Assembly’s activities. The Russian parliamentary delegation has not visited Strasbourg since then, thus abstaining from the summer and autumn sessions in 2014.
The decision on whether Russia’s voting rights will be restored is to be taken after the lawmakers discuss the amendments to the draft resolution and hold a final vote in the Assembly.
So far, the PACE monitoring committee has rejected all the radical initiatives on toughening the sanctions against the Russian delegation.
Russia’s lower house speaker, Sergey Naryshkin, said he is optimistic about Wednesday’s vote. "I hope that the majority of PACE members are clever people and responsible politicians," he said.