MOSCOW, June 3. /TASS/. Russia’s delegation return the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) if the latter adopts a report of its Rules Committee on the decision-making process concerning credentials and voting of national delegations right on the first day of its summer session on June 24, a senior Russian lawmaker said on Monday.
"If PACE adopts Petra de Sutter’s report on credentials with the Rules Committee’s recommendations on the first day of the session, i.e. on June 24, the Russian delegation will be able to return to the Assembly. A positive outcome of the voting is probable, despite the vigorous objections of the delegations from Ukraine and a number of Baltic countries," said Leonid Slutsky, chairman of the Russian State Duma's International Affairs Committee.
"The PACE Committee on Rules of Procedure passed a decision to recommend to exempt the right to vote, to speak and to be represented in the Assembly and its bodies from the sanctions mechanisms used against national delegations," Slutsky said. "It means that if the Assembly adopts Petra de Sutter’s report on June 24, the sanction-related rule will become void."
"In this case, Russia will be able to take part in the elections of a new secretary general of the Council of Europe preliminarily scheduled for June 26," he noted, adding that the final decision on Russia’s possible participation in PACE’s June session will be made by the Russian parliament in coordination with the Russian foreign ministry.
Earlier on Monday, PACE's press service said that its Committee on Rules of Procedure proposes to allow all member states, which for various reasons are not represented by a delegation to the Assembly, present their credentials at the June session.
Apart from that, the draft resolution also suggests the Rule of Procedure be supplemented “to clarify that in the context of a challenge to or reconsideration of credentials, members’ rights to vote, to speak and to be represented in the Assembly and its bodies shall not be suspended or withdrawn.”
The Russian delegation to PACE was stripped of the rights to vote, take part in monitoring missions and be elected to PACE executive bodies in April 2014 following the developments in Ukraine and Crimea’s reunification with Russia.