The Committee on International Affairs suggests not to send a delegation to PACE in 2019

Chairman of the Committee Leonid Slutskiy announced this after its meeting. The issue of sending the delegation will be considered at a plenary meeting of the State Duma on Thursday, January 17
Deputy Chairman of the State Duma Petr Tolstoy and Chairman of the Committee on International Affairs Leonid Slutskiy
Deputy Chairman of the State Duma Petr Tolstoy and Chairman of the Committee on International Affairs Leonid Slutskiy

“We suggest to adopt a decision not to send the delegation of the Russian Federation to participate in the work of PACE in 2019,” said Leonid Slutskiy Slutskiy Leonid Eduardoviсh Slutskiy
Leonid Eduardoviсh
after the meeting of the Committee on International Affairs.

He noted that the current rule on the possibility to review the powers of a national delegation sent to Strasbourg by the national parliament or a part of such powers contradicts the Statute of the Council of Europe. “This rule contradicts the norms of international law, world parliamentary practice and the very nature of parliamentarism,” the deputy believes.

“The Council of Europe and its Parliamentary Assembly are in a deep institutional crisis. They have not yet found a way out of it, although in recent months we very actively tried to encourage our colleagues from Strasbourg to do this,” noted Leonid Slutskiy.

He added that the Russian side is in constant dialogue with six political groups and a lot of country delegations. “However, unfortunately, amendments to the regulations have not been adopted,” the head of the Committee reminded.

“All this induces us to adopt the State Duma’s statement that this year the Russian Federation should not send an application for participation in the work of PACE,” he concluded.

The issue of not sending the delegation will be considered at a plenary meeting of the State Duma on Thursday, January 17.

In turn, Deputy Chairman of the State Duma Petr Tolstoy Tolstoy Petr Olegoviсh Tolstoy
Petr Olegoviсh
said that at the meeting with the PACE President Liliane Maury Pasquier, held in Geneva the day before, the parties discussed the possibility of amending the regulations and, “unfortunately, the agreement, which would have made it possible to take a different decision, had not been reached”.

“It’s not a matter of deputies or senators, it’s a matter of our voters, of the people of Russia. The Council of Europe shall and will fully respect all the rights of the people of the Russian Federation and only under these conditions Russia will work in the Council of Europe,” he stressed.

Petr Tolstoy noted that the decision taken by the Committee is a common position of members of the State Duma and the Federation Council.

He also said that Russia will not pay contributions for its non-participation. But the consequences are profound, not financial. The Council of Europe is an organization that aims to unite the continent from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean. The non-participation of Russia in this organization makes it harder even to the EU, which includes the majority of the members of the Council of Europe.

“The non-participation of Russia in PACE, according to our colleagues from this organization, gives new ways for Russophobia, which in recent years has been actively implemented in current work in the form of various statements and resolutions, which, by the way, we are not going to recognize either fully or partially. Everything that took place in PACE without the participation of the Russian Federation, without the participation of representatives elected by the people of Russia has no legitimacy for us. Just as for us, the decisions of judges who are elected without the participation of the Russian delegation are nit legitimate,” Petr Tolstoy said.

“As long as these discriminatory provisions of the PACE Regulations, which are not related to the values of the Council of Europe and contradict the Statute of the Council of Europe, are not changed, the Russian delegation will not return to PACE,” the Deputy Chairman of the State Duma emphasized.

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“The draft statement mentions that in addition to the return of the Russian delegation to full participation in PACE, we see no reason to revise the earlier decision to limit the contributions,” added Leonid Slutskiy.

Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Alexander Grushko also took part in the meeting.

Earlier, the State Duma received a letter from the PACE President with a proposal to form a delegation to attend the session of the Assembly, which starts on January 21. All members of the Council of the State Duma agreed that it was necessary to hold consultations again and declare the position of the Parliament on further participation in this organization within a week.

On January 15, the Chairman of the State Duma Viacheslav Volodin Volodin Viaсheslav Viktoroviсh Volodin
Viaсheslav Viktoroviсh
The Chairman of the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation of the seventh convocation. He was elected as part of the federal list of candidates proposed by the All-Russian political party “United Russia”
at the meeting with the Speaker of the Parliament of the Republic of Finland Paula Risikko
reminded that the PACE regulations still includes a provision that allows depriving the national delegation of the right to vote. Until today, the PACE Regulations have not been changed, and therefore, as Viacheslav Volodin stated, “we consider it impossible for us to participate in the PACE’s work, where such forms of solving problems thrive, when they are afraid to hear another point of view and are afraid of voting on issues.”