Chairman of the Committee on International Affairs, MP Slutsky following the meeting of the Committee:
“The meeting of the State Duma Committee on International Affairs ended, where my colleagues and I discussed the situation around relations between Russia and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, as well as our presence in Strasbourg this year. I will say right away: we proposed not to send an application for the participation of Russia in the work of PACE for 2019 and approved the text of the corresponding statement.
We will offer the chamber to submit it for consideration on January 17.
I will allow just one quote: “The State Duma sees no reason for the return of the Russian delegation to PACE and the resumption of the payment of Russian contributions to the Council of Europe budget in 2019.”
This position has been experienced, weighed and verified with our colleagues from the Federation Council and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation.
As you remember, Russia insisted on establishing equality in PACE for all member countries, which in the present circumstances can only be achieved by amending the regulations of the assembly on the abolition of sanctions clauses to deprive the key powers of national delegations. Deputies and senators were open to dialogue and did their best to overcome the crisis in relations between Moscow and Strasbourg. However, no significant progress was made by the Parliamentary Assembly.
I say this with regret, because such a line discredits the PACE itself, allows the Russophobic minority to set the tone in the oldest European parliamentary organization and draw dividing lines in the Council of Europe space, destroying the democratic foundations and principles of parliamentarism.
Russia will not allow to discriminate its national delegation on any site in the world, and PACE is no exception. We do not demand much, we only demand respect for the Statute of the Council of Europe and all members of the organization without exception. ”