NOVOSIBIRSK, July 3. /TASS/. Russia expects "adequate decisions" to be made regarding its powers in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), Speaker of Russia’s Federation Council (upper house of parliament) Valentina Matviyenko told reporters on Monday.
According to Matviyenko, Russia’s decision to suspend its Council of Europe fee payment for 2017 was "absolutely correct."
"That was a signal to the Council of Europe in general, not just the PACE, indicating that the situation in that organization continues to degrade. Members of national delegations are persecuted, there is no free platform for discussion there, the Russophobic lobby is trying to govern the PACE, witness attempts to remove PACE President [Pedro] Agramunt from his office," Matviyenko explained.
She noted that the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers realizes that the current situation is abnormal. "We hope that some adequate decisions will be made," the speaker added.
She did not rule out that new decisions could be made regarding Russia’s fee payment, if there are no "adequate regulatory decisions," which would make it possible for the Russian delegation to take part in the PACE work in full. "Why should we pay money? To observe anti-Russian hysteria day by day in return for Russia’s money?" Matviyenko noted.
She added that the issue of Russia’s fees for 2018 will depend on the course of events. "We shall see what will happen next year, let’s see how events will evolve," the speaker explained.
Council of Europe fees
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov earlier informed Secretary General of the Council of Europe Thorbjorn Jagland about Moscow’s decision to suspend its 2017 fee payment to the Council until the Russian delegation’s powers in the PACE are fully restored.
In early June, Speaker of Russia’s State Duma Vyacheslav Volodin told reporters that Russia had blocked a third of its fee payment to the Council of Europe for this year. According to Volodin, the issue at hand is about 11 million euros.