MOSCOW, February 3. /TASS/. The Council of Europe is no longer an organization promoting unity of European nations, so it makes no sense for Russia to return there, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko said in an interview to Parlamentskaya Gazeta, published on Friday.
"I would like to remind you that the Council of Europe, according to Article 1 of its Statute, was created ‘to achieve a greater unity’ of European nations. Western efforts turned it into something opposite. It makes no sense to return <…> to an organization of this kind," he said.
Earlier, Putin appointed Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko his official representative to the Russian parliament’s hearings on the termination of the Council of Europe’s international treaties in relation to Russia.
Russia left the Council of Europe in March 2022. The Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement the Council had effectively lost its multifaceted nature, turning into an organization for aggressive imposition of the neoliberal approach to human rights, in violation of the principles and values enshrined in its charter and basic conventions. The ministry said that Russia parted with this iteration of the Council of Europe without regret, and its exit from the group wouldn’t affect the rights and freedoms of Russian citizens.