MOSCOW, February 26. /TASS/. The suspension of Russia’s rights in the Council of Europe makes the existence of this organization senseless, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Friday.
"It means the end of this organization’s existence. It becomes senseless," she said in an interview with Russia’s TV Channel One.
"Or they will have to discuss things without us, but, in this case, their documents will have no force and they have no other agenda without us. Look what they have been doing for all these years. Their entire agenda rests on endless, stemming from nothing aggressive behavior against Russia," she noted.
Russia’s rights of representation in the Council of Europe have been suspended but it remains a member of the organization and a party to its conventions. "Committee of Ministers has today decided to suspend the Russian Federation from its rights of representation in the Committee of Ministers and in the Parliamentary Assembly with immediate effect," it said in a press statement. "The decision adopted today means that the Russian Federation remains a member of the Council of Europe and party to the relevant Council of Europe conventions, including the European Convention on Human Rights."
This is the second time when the Council of Europe suspends Russia’s rights. In April 2014, following Crimea’s reunification with Russia, the Russian depilation to the Parliament Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) was deprived of thee right to vote, to take part in PACE monitoring missions and to be elected to the Assembly’s steering bodies. Russia resumed full-fledged work within the PACE in 2019.