STRASBOURG, January 28. /TASS/. The Monitoring Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) has supported an amendment on stripping the Russian Federation’s delegation of the right of vote and its exclusion from the PACE governing bodies in 2015, deputy head of the Russian delegation Leonid Slutsky said Wednesday.
"This amendment was passed by only one vote. The rapporteur on Russia’s credentials, Stefan Shennah, recognized it as destructive and destroying the entire architecture of the resolution," Slutsky, who is the Committee’s member from Russia, said.
He said Russia’s delegation still has a chance to solve the situation and achieve the return of powers in PACE at the assembly’s session.
At the same time, the Russian lawmaker again confirmed Russia’s position that should PACE deprive Russia of the right to vote, the Russian delegation will leave Strasbourg and freeze all its relations with the Assembly by the end of 2015.
Russia’s dialogue with PACE was suspended in April last year when the assembly stripped it of voting rights until January 2015 following Crimea’s reunification with Russia, suspending its right to be represented in the assembly’s leading bodies and to participate in election observation missions.
Russian parliamentary delegates than left the session before its official completion as a gesture of protest and refused to take part in future PACE activities, ignoring the assembly's summer and autumn sessions. At the current session, opened on January 26, the powers of all delegations are to be formally re-affirmed.
The rights of the Russian delegation were called in question at the initiative of British MP Robert Walter, who argued that the sanctions imposed in April should be continued. He was supported by a group of more than 30 PACE members, who rose from their seats. Under the rules a motion to dispute the powers of a delegation to PACE requires support from at least 30 delegates representing at least five countries and two political groups at the assembly.
After that the Russian delegation’s powers were handed over to the PACE monitoring committee for drafting a report.