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Russia must be ready to leave PACE if trilateral mechanism is launched, lawmaker says

Pyotr Tolstoy told reporters that an exit from PACE would trigger an exit from the Council of Europe

MOSCOW, March 1. /TASS/. Russia must reconsider its role in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) and be ready to leave it if the trilateral reaction mechanism to the violation of obligations set by the Statute of the organization is launched against Russia, Head of Russia’s delegation to PACE and Russian State Duma (lower house) Deputy Speaker Pyotr Tolstoy said during a round table at the Russian Federation Council (upper house) on Monday.

"The problem is that it is the Parliamentary Assembly that selects the ECHR judges, the majority of whom are represented by Soros’ nonprofits, and this assembly decides on the launch of the trilateral procedure, and it’s not certain that it won’t be launched. <…> Yes, we may face this, let’s look at the facts. I think that firstly, we should reconsider our role in the organization, and secondly, we must consider leaving it if the trilateral procedure is launched against our country," Tolstoy said.

The Russian MP told reporters that an exit from PACE would trigger an exit from the Council of Europe, as membership is united in all bodies.

In January 2021, PACE approved the possibility of using the trilateral response mechanism to violations of the Statute of the organization. This mechanism can be launched in case of serious violations and requires the support of at least a third of all assembly members.

Tolstoy noted that if PACE launches this new mechanism against Russia, it should not "put up with this degrading story." "I want to say that yes, we must be ready for this and we must think of how to form certain replacement bodies if we suddenly decide to leave the Council of Europe," Tolstoy stressed.

"Right now, we are discussing this situation and it seems impossible that Russia might leave the Council of Europe - it’s impossible to imagine. We have discussed this with [Russian senate speaker] Tatyana Nikolayevna (Moskalkova), and she says: "What about the ECHR?" We can establish the ECHR with our allies if we have them. And if we don’t, we can create an additional control mechanism within our legal system that will satisfy the needs of our citizens when it comes to protecting their human rights," Tolstoy said.