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PACE says Russia complied with some of its recommendations after returning to Assembly

On Monday, several PACE delegates challenged the Russian delegation’s credentials on substantial ground

STRASBOURG, January 29. /TASS/. The Monitoring Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) has confirmed that Russia had complied with some of its recommendations after the Russian delegation’s return to the Assembly and highlighted progress in the implementation of the Minsk accords.

"The Assembly notes that, in the past six months since the Russian Federation’s return to the Assembly, some other recommendations included in Resolution 2292 (2019) have also been addressed by the Russian Federation," reads the PACE draft resolution on ratifying the Russian delegation’s credentials. "Some progress has been made with regard to the implementation of the Minsk Agreements."

The draft resolution approved by the committee on Tuesday will be considered at the Assembly’s session on Wednesday.

"The Russian Federation has participated in so-called ‘prisoner swaps’ and, alongside Ukraine, is preparing other exchanges," the document stressed.

The transfer of 24 sailors detained for violating the navigation rules in Russia’s territorial waters on the way from the Black Sea to the Sea of Azov in November 2018 was specifically mentioned as part of these prisoner swaps in the draft resolution.

It noted that "this included one person wanted for questioning in connection with the shooting down of airplane MH17," which confirms Russia’s compliance with one of the provisions of the June resolution to fully and unconditionally cooperate with the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) and The Netherlands Public Prosecution Office on the MH17 crash over Donbass in order to bring the perpetrators to justice.

"With regard to the financial obligations towards the Council of Europe, the Russian Federation has paid all due contributions to the ordinary budget and partial agreements. Unpaid interests are the subject of discussions in the Council of Europe Committee of Ministers," the document reads.

"Furthermore, the Assembly refers to its Resolution 2292 (2019) on the Challenge, on substantive grounds, of the still unratified credentials of the parliamentary delegation of the Russian Federation, in which it resolved to ratify the credentials and called on the Russian delegation to co-operate with the Monitoring Committee and engage in a meaningful dialogue on the fulfilment of its commitments and obligations," the draft resolution said.

On Monday, PACE delegates, Emanuelis Zingeris of Lithuania and Marija Golubeva of Latvia, challenged the Russian delegation’s credentials on substantial ground. 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 included representatives from Crimea and that politicians from that region had taken part in the federal parliamentary elections in Russia.

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.