MOSCOW, March 1. /TASS/. Russian Human Rights Commissioner Tatyana Moskalkova thinks that Russia should continue cooperating with the Council of Europe, she said on Monday during a round table at the Russian Federation Council (upper house of parliament) timed to the 25th anniversary of Russia joining the Council of Europe.
"Regardless of whether we will be in the Council of Europe or not, the temperature of the confrontation will continue to rise. The stronger Russia is, the more intense the fight will be. And we will need the platform of the Council of Europe very much here, as this is a platform for us to state our concept, our view of the society’s development and integration. <…> So of course, I am a supporter of keeping this platform so that we can work there," she said.
Moskalkova noted that the Russian delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe has "a very difficult time." "They take the first blow, they are the first who must fight for our view on values, our view on human rights and freedoms and the mechanisms established to protect them," she added.
Besides, the human rights commissioner stressed that Russia has an opportunity to inform Council of Europe representatives "of the real state of affairs." "Why would we deprive ourselves of that? They come to us and sometimes return with completely different opinions," she stated.
The Council of Europe considers it essential to cooperate with Russia in terms of ensuring human rights and democracy, the Council of Europe Secretary General Marija Pejcinovic Buric stated in a letter sent to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on occasion of the 25th anniversary of the country’s accession to the organization.
Back on February 28, 1996 in Strasbourg, former Russia’s top diplomat Evgeny Primakov and former Council of Europe Secretary General Daniel Tarshis signed documents on Russia’s accession to Europe’s oldest intergovernmental organization. Russia is engaged in the work of the Council of Ministers, the Parliamentary Assembly and other bodies of the Council of Europe.