Pedro Agramunt, President of PACE, during the opening procedure of the autumn session called the Parliamentary Assembly to consider returning of Russian Federation to Parliamentary Assemblyю
Early the Russian delegation was excluded from the organization because of sanctions, imposed in light of occupation of Crimea and Russian involvement in the Donbas conflict, approved by Russian parliament. In April 2014, Parliamentary Assembly restricted Russian delegation's voting rights and its participation at the Assembly's leading bodies. The sanctions were prolonged in 2015, but passed in 2016. At this moment Russia has no any representative at the Parliamentary Assembly.
President of PACE in favor of his proposal claimed:
"Situation, when Russia is absent at the Assembly, does not do any good to anyone - whether it is Russia, or the assembly, or any of other 46 countries", - said Pedro Agramunt.
PACE president added that he always supported the idea of returning the Russian delegation in spite of "some groups interfering". Pedro Agramunt insists that he will continue working on this issue and called all the political groups to discuss the question.
After such initiative Ukrainian Foreign Ministry expressed harsh opposing to the idea, underlining that Russia`s comeback to PACE is unacceptable, because of ongoing violations of international law.
MFA press secretary Maryana Betsa wrote on her twitter: "Russia is an aggressor, an occupant. It blatantly violates international law and rules of Council of Europe. What return can we talk about?"
The Bureau of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) has rejected the initiative for the early introduction of amendments to the regulations, guaranteeing Russia unimpeded restoration of their rights in the Assembly, Chair of the Ukrainian delegation to PACE, President of the Committee for Culture and Media Volodymyr Ariev wrote on Facebook during a meeting of the Bureau.
"The Bureau abandoned the idea of promoting illegitimate and quick procedure to change the rules of the Assembly in favor of the Russian Federation. The protests of the Ukrainian delegation have triggered," he said. Ariev claims that still there will be an attempt to make these changes to the regulations, but according to a standard long procedure. Also, another way to make changes might be used by PACE.
Also the biggest faction of the Parliamentary Assembly unanimiously refused to adopt such changes, thus PACE president did not get any support on this issue, Ariev added.
Depending on the results, the issue will be submitted to PACE Bureau on Friday. In such circumstances, the blitzkrieg planned by pro-Russian lobbyists becomes almost impossible." "So they begin to talk about a political moratorium on the denial of the powers of delegation, which is purely declarative and against which we must fight in the dialogue during the session," Ariev said.
From Russian party Pushkov acused Ukraine of attempt to disrupt Russia`s return and reminded that Kyiv is nervous about it, adding the only condition of Russian delegation`s return is equal participation and lifting of all sanctions.