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State Duma refuses to resume cooperation with PACE, increasing chances that Russia could leave the Council of Europe

Source: Interfax

Federal lawmakers in Russia say they are opposed to sending a delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) for this year’s Winter Session in Strasbourg, rejecting an invitation from General Secretary Wojciech Sawicki.

On January 17, at a plenary session of the State Duma, all four represented political parties endorsed an announcement refusing to resume cooperation with PACE until Russia’s voting rights are restored in the organization.

According to the Duma’s statement, more than half the judges now working in the European Court of Human Rights were elected without the participation of a Russian PACE delegation, “calling into question the legitimacy of the ECHR’s rulings related to Russia.”

“After today’s Duma vote, Russia will be one step closer to withdrawing from the Council of Europe. What once looked like the dawn of a new era is fast becoming an anachronism,” tweeted Carnegie Moscow Center director Dmitri Trenin.

Russia lost its PACE voting rights in 2014, following the annexation of Crimea. Two years ago, in protest, Moscow stopped paying its contributions to the Council of Europe.

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