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The plenary session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) to be held in Strasbourg on 26–30 January will address the question of whether to approve the credentials of the Russian delegation to be renewed in 2015 at the expiry of the sanctions applied by the PACE against the Russian delegation because of the annexation of Crimea and the escalation of military tensions in eastern Ukraine.
Seimas of Lithuania
Seimas of Lithuania
© DELFI / Tomas Vinickas

According to the PACE Resolution “Reconsideration on substantive grounds of the previously ratified credentials of the Russian delegation” adopted in April 2014, the delegation of the Russian Federation was suspended, until the end of the 2014 session, from voting rights, the right to be represented in the PACE executive committees, and the right to participate in election observation missions conducted by the PACE. Moreover, the Resolution highlights that the Assembly reserves the right to annul the credentials of the Russian delegation, if the Russian Federation does not reverse the annexation of Crimea and further escalates the crisis in eastern Ukraine.

Having regard to the fact that none of the requirements of the Resolution has been met and that the situation in eastern Europe has even deteriorated and expressing regret that after the suspension of the voting and other partial rights the Russian delegation has unilaterally decided not to attend PACE sessions, i.e. the delegation itself has refused dialogue, the Seimas Delegation to the PACE sees no reason to return the suspended rights to the Russian delegation. The Seimas Delegation to the PACE stresses that dialogue with Russia within the framework of the PACE is possible only if Moscow makes real progress towards de-escalation and honours other commitments undertaken upon accession to the Council of Europe.

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