11 Dec 2018 16:24

Russia not to agree to partial reinstatement of powers at PACE - Matviyenko

MOSCOW. Dec 11 (Interfax) - Russia will not agree to the proposal of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) Rules of Procedure, Immunities and Institutional Affairs Committee on lifting part of the restrictions on national delegations, Russian Federation Council Speaker Valentina Matviyenko said.

"A partial resolution of the problem doesn't suit anyone, including Russia," Matviyenko told journalists.

There have been media reports that the PACE Rules Committee objected to the deprivation of national delegations of their right to elect the secretary general of the Council of Europe and the judges of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). The Assembly suspended these and other credentials of the Russian delegation several years ago.

"Justice cannot be partial: it either exists or it does not. In this particular case, we still believe and are convinced that not a single PACE institution has the right or power to discriminate against national parliamentary delegations," she said.

This proposal by the Rules Committee is not enough for Russia "to change its principled position that any forms of discrimination against any national delegation are unacceptable," Matviyenko said.

"In any case, there have at least been some changes and an understanding, at least at the level of the Rules Committee, that this crisis should be resolved and should not be dragged out," she said.

She said she hopes that healthy forces in the Council of Europe, including policymakers, diplomats, and parliamentarians, "will move toward making radical changes that would enable all parliamentary delegations, regardless of their position, to work at PACE as full members."

Russian Permanent Representative to the European Union Vladimir Chizhov said on Monday that Russia would not agree to the partial reinstatement of the powers of the Russian delegation to PACE.