Two years without Russia in Strasbourg completes the next PACE session


RIA Novosti

Cybersecurity, strengthening social dialogue and the situation in Syria became the Central themes culminating on Friday in Strasbourg session of parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE).

We also discussed the situation with Russia, whose delegation once again came to the PACE. Despite the lack of Russian parliamentarians, topics related to Russia, the agenda of the Assembly and especially of its lobbies do not go away.

Two years — no time

PACE in 2014-2015 after the annexation of Crimea to Russia, adopted resolutions, in which he deprived the Russian delegation of the right to vote at the session to participate in the work of statutory bodies and the monitoring of elections. In response, the Russian delegation decided to leave the PACE, as it was planned — until the end of 2015.

Since then, however, the situation has not changed, and in January 2017 the Russian delegation in the session of the PACE participation again was not accepted. She decided, like in 2016, not to send for the necessary powers of delegation documents. While working in the Assembly, in principle, Moscow did not cease. Russia’s permanent representative to the Council of Europe Ivan Satanovsky told RIA Novosti that “cross-sectoral cooperation is going well, although not without elements of politicization on some issues”.

In the most of the PACE in the absence of the delegation of the Russian Federation already almost got used. A speech at the winter session of the Assembly regarding Russia, begins with the words “and again delegation is not here” or “again, they did not come”. Actually, the fact that the delegation from Moscow will not come, the PACE was ready in mid-January, when the head of the Assembly, Pedro Agramunt was informed at the meetings in Moscow.

Re-elected at this session for another year, Pedro Agramunt from the tragedy do not, and told reporters that he intends to continue the dialogue with Russia, arrived for a meeting of the IPA CIS at the end of March in St. Petersburg. In turn, RIA Novosti interviewed the members of the PACE said that the problem sooner or later will have to decide. “If the delegation will not come next year, it will be really strange,” said one of the parliamentarians, adding that “Russia had to make a decision in respect of us and of the Council.”


Despite the absence of the Russian delegation, the theme of Russia sounded at the session quite clearly. A keen interest of parliamentarians caused, for example, the opinion of the constitutional court of Russia regarding ECHR ruling in the Yukos case. Last week, the constitutional court ruled that the decision of the European court of human rights does not comply with the Russian Constitution, thus, the execution of it impossible. The ECtHR in July 2014 ordered Russia to pay compensation to former Yukos shareholders for violating their rights to judicial protection and fair trial. The Russian Ministry of justice stated that he does not believe this decision is fair and impartial and has sent in the constitutional court the request to fulfill it.

One of the first to the current session of PACE the decision of the Russian court said the Council of Europe Commissioner for human rights Nils Muiznieks, responsible for the humanitarian component of human rights subjects. Then he spoke of the PACE Rapporteur for Russia, Theodora Bakoyannis and Lilian Maury Pasquier, the status of which, by the way, in the absence of the Russian delegation was not clear. For some reason they demanded to amend the Russian legislation on priority decisions of the COP or to amend the Constitution of Russia, which would implement the decisions of the ECHR.

Directly responsible for the national implementation of judgments of the ECHR, the Secretary General of the Council of Europe thorbjørn Jagland reacted quite discreet. He noticed that he was concerned about this decision, but stated that the parties “have the potential for discussion.”

Russia hopes for change

Representatives of the Russian side, commenting on the results of the PACE January session, expressed the view that the work of the Assembly without the participation of Russia can not be complete.

“We have seen the work of colleagues in PACE. But nothing to comment, I believe that the work PACE without Russia cannot be good and productive. Let’s hope that soon this situation will be changed”, — told reporters, Vice-speaker of the state Duma Pyotr Tolstoy.