STRASBOURG, January 26. /TASS/. The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) Monitoring Committee approved the draft resolution, in which it recommends to confirm the Russian delegation’s mandate, challenged under Ukraine’s request in the beginning of the session, Russian delegation head, State Duma Deputy Speaker Pyotr Tolstoy told TASS.
"The [Committee] meeting went well. A resolution was approved that confirms the mandate of our delegation," he said. "No conditions put before us are acceptable, no restrictions of our delegation will pass. The Committee supported no amendments," he added, commenting on Ukrainian delegation’s attempts to introduce amendments that restrict the Russian delegation’s authority.
The initiative to challenge Russian delegation’s mandate was put forth by the Ukrainian delegation head, the Servant of the People political party deputy Maria Mezentseva. Her requests was supported by 38 participants from at least five different national delegations, which was enough to hand the request over to the PACE Monitoring Committee. Meanwhile, 61 representative voted against the initiative.
The Monitoring Committee was ordered to prepare a report on this issue. The report was presented by Stefan Schennach, who presented a similar report in 2014. Now, the adopted bill will be discussed during the debate Thursday, which will be followed by final approval vote.
Earlier, Russian delegation head Pyotr Tolstoy claimed that Russia is ready to work with other PACE participants only on equal terms and will not accept any advanced against its mandate.
Russian State Duma Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Leonid Slutsky called this step of the Ukrainian colleagues expected, but underscored that Russia does not accept "any restrictions and sanctions." According to Slutsky, the Assembly "has a more constructive intent for cooperation with the Russian delegation."
In an interview for TASS, Dutch Senator Tiny Kox noted that the Ukrainian delegation’s request was filed "at an inappropriate time." According to the lawmaker, such step would have been appropriate after the Monitoring Committee had completed the report on Russia’s fulfillment of obligations before the Council of Europe, requested last year.