Leonid Slutsky, Chairman of the State Duma Committee on International Affairs, considers it possible to develop a “road map” for the release of the RF-PACE crisis until the end of May:
“The resolution adopted last week on the Tini Cox report allows forming a road map for overcoming the crisis in Russia’s relations with PACE. Realizing the Cox report, on May 17 the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe may decide to establish a joint structure with the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, which will deal with issues of countries that are in a difficult or critical situation, I admit and I think it’s very likely that within this framework a recommendation can be made to the Standing Committee of the Assembly on The amendment to the PACE regulations on the exclusion of sanctions articles.
In turn, PostCom at a meeting in Paris on May 24 – the so-called mini-session of the assembly – may adopt a report and a resolution on changing the PACE regulations. This is fully within the competence of the Standing Committee. And then all the prerequisites for the return of the Russian delegation to Strasbourg will be created. All that remains is for the PACE Bureau to decide that the powers of national delegations can be confirmed not once a year, but at each PACE session.
So far, all this is only theoretically. But if such a roadmap is implemented, then Russian parliamentarians will be able to take part in the June session of the assembly, where the election of a new Secretary General of the Council of Europe will be held. This is key to our continued cooperation with the organization, because otherwise its legitimacy will be lost by 90%.
I do not give up hope for the prevalence of a rational and constructive approach in the Council of Europe. We have repeatedly said that Russia can return to PACE only when adopting amendments to the regulation on the exclusion of sanctions norms to deprive of the key powers of national delegations. And this is the main condition for the resumption of our work. “