Leonid Slutsky, Chairman of the International Affairs Committee:
“The question of whether or not to return the delegation of the Russian Federation to PACE was discussed today at a meeting of the Interdepartmental Commission on the Council of Europe.
A serious and thorough review of all the advantages, disadvantages and risks of the possible resumption of Russia’s work at the Parliamentary Assembly site has been held.
On the one hand, the PACE Committee on Rules and Procedures (Regulations Committee) on June 3 in Paris made recommendations on the implementation of the Helsinki CMCE Statement on Equality of All Delegations. This is, in essence, the very “beautiful decision” on amendments to the Assembly’s Rules of Procedure, which should ban forever to deprive national delegations of words, voices and powers in the structures of the PACE. And, admittedly, this is exactly what we have been striving for so long to overcome the crisis between Moscow and Strasbourg.
On the other hand, we are still talking about the draft report and the resolution. The intrigue is in which version they can be taken finally. The Assembly has a constructive majority on the issue of equality of powers. But at the same time, there is also a fairly “loud” Russophobic minority, ready to do anything to prevent Russia from returning to PACE.
What will be the result will become clear only when discussing the issue on the first day of the session, June 24. The outcome of the vote will also depend on whether the delegation of the Russian Federation will apply for confirmation of its credentials to participate in this year’s PACE session.
On Wednesday, June 26, elections of the new Secretary General of the Council of Europe will be held. Under favorable circumstances, this can easily be done on Monday evening. The ball is still on the side of the assembly.
In turn, we are planning to discuss the PACE issue in fractions in the near future with its subsequent consideration at a meeting of the Council of the Duma. ”