Breaking News

Kremlin Lauds PACE’s Reinstatement of Russian Delegation’s Rights as ‘Victory of Reason’

MOSCOW - The Kremlin is positive about the adoption of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) resolution, reinstating the Russian delegation’s rights, Russian President’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

"Speaking about the return of our delegation to PACE, adoption of the corresponding resolution and the mission of our parliamentarians, it is a very positive event, [which] can only be viewed positively," the Kremlin spokesman said.

"It is not about a diplomatic victory of Moscow, this is about a victory of reason, because PACE cannot adequately work without the participation of the Russian delegation," he underlined.

In response to the request to comment on certain critical opinions in relation to the inclusion of Chairman of the Russian State Duma’s (lower house) Foreign Affairs Committee Leonid Slutsky, Peskov called on leaving these opinions "on the conscience of these experts." "The delegation is appropriate for this forum, for this format," he underlined.

On Tuesday, PACE approved the resolution of Belgian representative Petra De Sutter that will allow the Russian delegation to take part in the Assembly's June session. The resolution was backed by 118 members, 62 parliamentarians voted against it, while 10 abstained.

The Russian delegation to PACE was stripped off its rights to vote, to take part in monitoring missions or make up the PACE leadership institutions in April 2014, following the events in Ukraine and Crimea’s reunification with Russia. In 2015, PACE considered the issues of reinstating the rights of the Russian delegation twice, but the sanctions only got tighter then. In response, the Russian delegation announced that it refused to work in such conditions and since 2016 did not submit its application to confirm its rights. In 2017 Russia also froze the payment of its membership dues to the CE budget.