28 Mar 2019 12:33

Moscow wants CoE Council of Ministers to endorse PACE sanctions

MOSCOW. March 28 (Interfax) - Russia will push for an exclusive role of the Council of Europe (CoE) Committee of Ministers in the endorsement of any sanctions imposed by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), according to Deputy Director of the Russian Foreign Ministry's European Cooperation Department Ilya Subbotin.

"What we need at this stage is decisions from the CoE Council of Ministers which will formalize the supremacy of the Council of Europe Statute and the role of the Council of Ministers as the only body authorized to make decisions. The Council of Ministers will need to approve any sanctions imposed by the PACE. A session is pending, and we will do our best to adopt relevant decisions," Subbotin told Interfax.

According to Subbotin, most CoE states want Russia to remain a member. "Under these circumstances, it is strange that we are talking about withdrawal or expulsion at all," he said, adding, "The situation is serious, and the risk is high."

The Russian Foreign Ministry is holding consultations with other national agencies, most of which oppose Russia's withdrawal from the CoE, he said.

Russia does not accept any restrictions on its voting rights, which contravene the CoE Statute and international law as a whole, Subbotin said.

"We are only going to come back when conditions are created for the full reinstatement of our voting rights," he said.