Chairman of the State Duma Committee on International Affairs Leonid Slutskiy commented on PACE report on the credentials of national delegations presented in Paris on September 20. “Future participation of the Russian Federation in the PACE depends on the outcome of voting on this report,” noted the head of the Committee.
Chairman of the State Duma Committee on International Affairs Leonid Slutskiy informed that “on September 20, a PACE commission on rules and procedures held its meeting in Paris, where a report on the credentials of national delegations was approved by a majority vote”.
The Chairman of the Committee noted that ”the report, which was prepared by Belgian representative Petra de Sutter, quite surprised me. It introduces a qualitative complication of the procedure for reconsidering the credentials of national delegations, but there is no complete abolition of the sanctions articles. It is necessary to recognize that the complication of the procedure is quite serious and, of course, it is a step forward. However it is also obvious that, if desired, a more complicated mechanism for challenging delegation’s credentials can be overcome and, once again, one or another national delegation can be subject to the denial of the right to vote.
Thus, this can work not only against Russia, but, in principle, on the creation of dividing lines within the Council of Europe. And this is a killer factor for the organization. When countries are divided into the first and second class, it is macro-destructive.
The report is due to be considered on 9 October. As already stated, Russia’s position on the return to PACE depends on the outcome of voting. But even if amendments to the regulations on complication rather than abolition of the procedure for depriving delegations of the right to vote are adopted, we cannot state for sure whether Russia will send an application for participation in the PACE session for 2019. This issue will require additional consultations between the chambers of the Federal Assembly and the leadership of the country“.