MOSCOW, May 28. /TASS/. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko and German Ambassador to Moscow Rudiger von Fritsch have held a meeting to discuss Russia’s relations with NATO and the European Union, as well as the Council of Europe crisis, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.
"The parties discussed issues concerning Russia’s relations with NATO and the European Union, ways to overcome the institutional crisis in the Council of Europe and ensure the organization’s operation, as well as the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) structured dialogue on military security," the statement reads.
The Russian deputy foreign minister and the German ambassador also touched upon global issues of mutual interest.
Russia and the Council of Europe
Following Crimea’s 2014 reunification with Russia, the country’s delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) was stripped of its key rights, including the right to vote, over the situation in Ukraine and Crimea’s reunification with Russia. In response, Russia suspended its participation in PACE’s activities and the payment of its contribution to the Council of Europe.
Council of Europe Secretary General Thorbjorn Jaglandsaid on October 10, 2018, that Russia’s membership in the Committee of Ministers and the Parliamentary Assembly might be suspended starting from June 2019 due to non-payment of monetary contributions. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in response that Moscow would quit the Council of Europe if opposing member states called for expelling Russia.