MOSCOW, February 28. /TASS/. The future of the Council of Europe will depend on whether it will be able to stay independent and step away from bloc approaches, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in his message to Council of Europe Secretary General Marija Pejcinovic Buric on the 25th anniversary of Russia’s membership in the organization.
"I am convinced that the future of the Council of Europe depends on its ability to preserve independence and its genuine common European nature, not to be a hostage to bloc approaches and thinking, to work without double standards in the interests of all countries of the continent. The experience of the recent years demonstrates that how important it is to keep the Parliamentary Assembly from slipping into an arena for settling accounts, to refrain from imposing non-consensus documents, to see to it that the activity of the European Court of Human Rights is free from political and ideological bias," he stressed.
The minister also noted that the organization’s potential is especially needed amid the anti-coronavirus campaign to consolidate efforts of countries in the sphere of public health and to exchange advanced experience. "Neither geopolitical nor economic considerations should be above the interests of protection of health of own citizens," he pointed out.
The Russian top diplomat emphasized that the authority of the Council of Europe is being shattered because of the lack of due reaction to such human rights violations as discrimination of the Russian and Russian-speaking population in Ukraine and the Baltic countries. "The organization that emerged from the ruins of World War II must not be indifferent to the manifestations of historic revisionism and glorification of Nazi collaborators," he added.
Lavrov congratulated Pejcinovic Buric on the jubilee and wished the Council of Europe "unity, stability and persistence in its drive towards the goals set in its charter in the interests of all Europeans.".