PARIS, September 23. /TASS/. Restrictions on the freedom of movement of Russian senators outside the Council of Europe in Strasbourg contradict the General Agreement on the Privileges of this organization, Russian Permanent Representative to the Council of Europe Ivan Soltanovsky told TASS on Thursday.
"Entry to the France, the host country of the Council of Europe at the invitation of the organization, has been difficult under the pretext that Russians are not vaccinated by EU-approved jabs. The same excuse is used for imposing restrictions of various types on the Russian delegation outside of the Council of Europe. We think that this practice contradicts the General Agreement on Privileges and Immunities of the Council of Europe," he said.
The Russian diplomat noted that according to this document, no administrative or other restrictions shall be placed on the free movement to and from the place of meeting of the Representatives to the Consultative Assembly and their substitutes. He also recalled that the Agreement on the working conditions of the Council of Europe Headquarters includes a commitment by the French authorities to not hinder access to any persons arriving at the invitation of the Strasbourg organization to the CoE headquarters.
Soltanovsky stressed that earlier, the permanent mission has already attained free access for Russian representatives to the premises of the Council of Europe on the same conditions that other countries’ delegations have. "The decision was taken here to recognize all vaccines certified in any of the 47-member countries for work at the headquarters of the Council of Europe. In other words, the Council of Europe recognizes not only Sputnik V, but also all other Russian-made vaccines," he explained.
"The Russian Permanent Mission at the Council of Europe has employed its utmost efforts to ensure equality and full participation of the Russian delegation in the work of PACE and other bodies of the Council of Europe. We carry on working with the leadership of the Council of Europe secretariat as well as Permanent Mission of France to provide all the Russian representatives with the same working conditions in the Council of Europe as delegations of all other countries," he concluded.