STRASBOURG, June 25. /TASS/. The Russian delegation is ready to return to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) but it will not tolerate any new restrictions, chairman of the Russian State Duma's International Affairs Committee Leonid Slutsky said on Tuesday.
"The delegation will return to PACE in full only if no attempts to impose any restrictions are made. Such a possibility remains," Slutsky said. He added that "there is still a norm that allows 30 representatives of the Assembly from at least five countries to question the rights of a national delegation upon its confirmation." "In that case, the regulatory committee will have to prepare an urgent report," he noted.
The Russian delegation will not tolerate "any more sanctions, no matter how insignificant," Slutsky stressed. "If they try to introduce new restrictions, we will leave Strasbourg," he said.
At the same time, the Russian official noted that PACE "made a huge step toward defending the rights of national delegations." "The Assembly has introduced significant changes to its sanctions mechanism and banned stripping anyone of the right to vote, make speeches and be represented in PACE," he concluded.
PACE has earlier approved the resolution of Belgian representative Petra De Sutter that will allow the Russian delegation to take part in the Assembly's June session. The resolution was supported by 118 members, 62 people voted against it, and 10 people abstained.