26 Jun 2019 12:20

Ukrainian FM proposes recalling PACE invitation to monitor Rada elections if Russian delegation's credentials ratified

KYIV. June 26 (Interfax) - The Ukrainian Verkhovna Rada should recall its invitation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) to monitor the upcoming parliamentary elections in Ukraine if PACE ratifies the Russian delegation's credentials, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin said.

"If PACE ratifies the Russian delegation's credentials, I would suggest that the Verkhovna Rada recall the invitation to PACE to join the monitoring of our parliamentary elections. After all, as they say in Odesa, there are 'two big differences' between PACE with Russian parliamentarians and PACE without them," Klimkin wrote on Facebook on Wednesday.

Any volunteers could join bilateral observation missions, but "we have no confidence in this Assembly anymore," he said.

Klimkin said he had forwarded a letter to Director of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (OSCE/ODIHR) Ingibjorg Solrun Gisladottir in January to say that Ukraine would not accept applications for registering Russian monitors as members of the OSCE election observation mission, and "everyone [...] treated our position with understanding."

It was reported earlier that PACE had passed a resolution amending its Rules of Procedure early on January 25, which effectively reduces the grounds for restricting delegations' rights and potentially opens the path toward the Russian delegation's return to the organization.

PACE is to hear reports from two committees challenging of the Russian delegation's credentials on June 26.