Russia's Halt of PACE Fee Shows Further Degradation of Situation

© Sputnik / Vladimir Fedorenko / Go to the mediabankBuilding of the Parliamentary Assembly Council of Europe (PACE) in Strasbourg, France
Building of the Parliamentary Assembly Council of Europe (PACE) in Strasbourg, France - Sputnik International
Russia's decision to suspend fee payments to the Council of Europe (CoE) budget for 2017 sends a signal to the organization about further deterioration of the situation between the two sides, Valentina Matvienko, the speaker of the Federation Council, Russia's upper house of parliament, said Monday.

NOVOSIBIRSK (Sputnik) — On June 30, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov informed Secretary General of the CoE Thorbjorn Jagland of Moscow's decision to suspend the country's contribution to the CoE budget for 2017 until the unconditional and full restoration of powers of the Russian delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly to the Council of Europe (PACE).

Pedro Agramunt, President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) - Sputnik International
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"I believe that the [Russian] Foreign Ministry has made an absolutely right decision. This is a signal to the Council of Europe, not only the PACE, that the situation continues to degrade," Matvienko told reporters.

Russia left PACE in late 2015 following the assembly's resolutions in 2014 and 2015 depriving the Russian delegation of the right to vote at the assembly’s sessions, as well as of the right to participate in the work of its three key bodies: the Bureau, the Presidential Committee and the Standing Committee over Crimea's secession to Russia.

Moscow did not renew its credentials ahead of the Assembly’s 2016 and 2017 winter sessions and made its return conditional on the full restoration of its delegates' voting rights.

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