STRASBOURG, January 28. /TASS/. The Monitoring Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) has supported the report on the Russian delegation’s credentials recommending to validate them in full, Pyotr Tolstoy, Russia’s delegation head and deputy speaker of Russia’s State Duma lower parliament house, said on Tuesday after the committee’s meeting.
"The resolution was supported. [British lawmaker Roger] Gale’s amendments were voted down," he said when asked by TASS whether Russia’s credentials would be confirmed in full.
Meanwhile, PACE’s Committee on Rules of Procedure ratified credentials of the delegations from North Macedonia, Poland, Portugal, San Marino, Sweden and Switzerland that were contested on Monday over the poor representation of women.
On Monday, PACE delegates, Emanuelis Zingeris of Lithuania and Maria Golubeva of Latvia, challenged the Russian delegation’s credentials on substantial ground. Thus, the former claimed that rulings of the European Court of Human Rights were allegedly void in Russia and the latter pointed to the fact that the Russian delegation had representatives from Crimea and that politicians from that region had taken part in federal parliamentary elections in Russia.
Before a year’s first session, all national delegations are supposed to file applications for participation throughout the given year. The delegations’ credentials are validated automatically on the first day of the session in case there are no reasoned objections from PACE members. It takes at least 30 lawmakers from at least five national delegations present at the session to challenge the delegation’s credentials.
The contested credentials are further referred to the appropriate committee, which is to report back to the assembly within 24 hours. Before it is done, the delegation enjoys all the rights (to take part in the session, to speak and to vote) but cannot take part in the voting on the relevant draft resolution.
In June 2019, PACE passed a resolution supplementing the rules of procedure with a ban on stripping national delegations of the right to vote, speech and participation in the assembly’s key structures through contesting or revising their credentials. Thanks to this document, Russia was able to get back to PACE after five years of absence. The Russian delegation was stripped of its basic rights with the assembly in April 2014 following the developments in Ukraine and Crimea’s reunification with Russia. In response, Russia refused to take part in the assembly’s work.
However, such rights as to take part in PACE monitoring missions at elections, to be appointed a PACE rapporteur, and to represent PACE to the Council of Europe or other organizations could be restricted.