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Moscow searching for mutually acceptable ways to get out of PACE crisis

PACE voted twice on a possibility to restore the Russian delegation’s powers, however the restrictions still remain in force

SOCHI, September 30. /TASS/. Moscow is making active steps to search for a mutually acceptable way out of the crisis with the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexei Meshkov told TASS on Friday.

"The heads of both houses of Russia’s parliament are taking active steps in search for a mutually acceptable way out of this situation," the diplomat said. In mid-September, Russia’s Federation Council Speaker Valentina Matviyenko exchanged views with PACE President Pedro Agramunt regarding the steps for restoring all powers of the Russian delegation, Meshkov added.

"This may be expected by the end of the year or in early 2017 - depending on the timeframe for forming Russia’s delegation in the assembly taking into consideration the results of the elections to the 7th State Duma and also the work speed on this issue at PACE," he said.

Russia’s delegation at PACE was deprived of its key rights in April 2014 over developments in Ukraine and Crimea’s reunification with Russia. In 2015, PACE voted twice on a possibility of restoring the Russian delegation’s powers but the restrictions remain in force. Russia is stripped of the right to vote and take part in the PACE governing bodies and its monitoring activities.

Owing to these restrictions, the Russian delegation suspended its participation in the PACE work until late 2015. The leadership of the Russian delegation has repeatedly said it would return to PACE only if all the sanctions were lifted. In January 2016, Russia refused to bid for confirming its powers this year.