Chairman of the State Duma Committee Leonid Slutsky after the meeting of the special commission of the PACE Bureau on harmonization of the activities of the statutory bodies of the Council of Europe:
“The Commission was more positive. PACE is tired of groundless anti-Russian hysteria. Most of the authoritative members of the special committee, which is headed by the current speaker of the Assembly, the Italian Michele Nicoletti, have taken a rather constructive position.
Representatives of the British delegation raised the topic of freezing Russia’s contribution to the Council of Europe. However, this was a good pass in order to clarify the position of the Russian Federation. For today it is necessary to talk not about money, but about the future role of the Council of Europe and its Parliamentary Assembly in the emerging European architecture of the 21st century, where the dividing lines play an increasingly destructive role, destroying the organization itself. It is necessary in the very near future to adopt regulatory amendments to exclude discriminatory norms, which allow to deprive the key authorities of national delegations. And we need to do this not for Russia, although we insist on it, but in the name of the future of the Council of Europe. Any sanctions are contrary to the very spirit, nature, traditions and principles of parliamentarism. I was supported by many authoritative members of the PACE, but naturally there were representatives of Ukraine, although their rhetoric was rather “blown away”. As such, substantive attacks against Russia at this meeting of ad-hoc commission was not.
The next meeting of the commission will be held on June 1 in Zagreb, proposals from political groups and national delegations will be held before May 15. There is still a meeting in late June in Strasbourg on the site of the PACE summer session.
Of course, before the adoption of amendments is far, but if we compare the discussion, then from the meeting to the meeting more and more members of the commission are in favor of a return to full-scale cooperation with Russia and a possible PACE recommendation to adopt amendments to the removal of sanctions articles of the Assembly’s regulations. “