The Council of Europe (CoE) fears that Russia will decide to withdraw from its membership, so they are considering lifting the sanctions imposed in connection with the conflict in Ukraine in 2014. This was reported by the Financial Times with reference to the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Thorbjørn Jagland.
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“This has negative consequences for Europe, as we will get Europe without Russia. This will be a big step backwards, “Jagland said. However, he denied allegations that Russian officials threatened to exit the organization. According to Jagland, Moscow’s refusal to pay contributions to the Council of Europe budget could lead to Russia leaving the organization voluntarily or at the initiative of other countries. “As far as I understand, this can happen,” he said.
“No one wants to give a signal that we are accepting the annexation of the Crimea. We are not talking about undermining this principled position, “Jagland noted. “But we must soberly assess what our mandate is.” We have a mandate to protect human rights in Russia and the Crimea, as well as everywhere where people live on the continent. “
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As reported by media sources in April 2014 the Russian delegation to PACE was deprived of its basic powers due to the events in Ukraine and the reunification of the Crimea with the Russian Federation. In 2015, PACE twice considered the question of restoring the Russian delegation to its rights, but the sanctions remained in force: Russia is deprived of the right to vote, as well as participation in the work of the PACE governing bodies. In response, the Russian Federation stated that it was suspending its participation in the PACE until the end of 2015; In January 2016, she refused to apply for confirmation of authority.
At the end of June, Russia suspended payment of its contribution to the Council of Europe budget for 2017 due to the non-participation of its delegation in the work of the PACE.