Russia will cease its work at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe until the end of this year, the head of the Russian delegation to the Assembly, Alexei Pushkov, stated after PACE deprived Russia of the right to vote and participate in the governing body of the Assembly until April 2015.
"Due to the fact that the Assembly deprived the Russian Federation of the right to vote and participate in governing bodies of the organization, one does not have to speak about any contacts in the organization," said the MP.
"We have informed our colleagues, the PACE administration, the leadership of political groups, that should Russia be deprived of the basic rights, then the Russian delegation will suspend its participation in the organization until the end of 2015 at the very least," Pushkov said.
The membership of the Russian Federation in the Council of Europe will be decided before the end of 2015, said Pushkov.
"We are leaving the Parliamentary Assembly before the end of this year. We congratulate the Parliamentary Assembly on making, in my opinion, an inadequate decision that causes a very serious blow to the all-European inter-parliamentary dialogue. This decision actually takes PACE to the margin of the dialogue, as the absence of the Russian delegation turns the debate in the organization in a fairly empty exercise," said Russian deputy.
According to Alexei Pushkov, the role of other organizations such as the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly will increase because of today's decision of PACE.
"The role of other organizations, where the Russian Federation is a member, and where there is no institution of sanctions, will significantly increase. We intend to focus on the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly," he said.
PACE's decision to extend sanctions against the Russian delegation brings up the issue of Russia's exit from the Council of Europe, chairman of the State Duma Committee for Foreign Affairs Alexei Pushkov also said.
"I want to stress this out that until recently, Russia has not even considered an opportunity to exit the Council of Europe, but PACE's decision puts this question on the agenda," the official said.
Pravda.Ru asked first deputy chairman of the State Duma Committee on Information Policy, Information Technology and Communications, Alexei Tumanov, to comment on the decision of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe to deprive Russia of powers in the organization.
"All venues are important, we need even private contacts. For example, when I was in Brussels, I acquired many of such private contacts at the European Parliament and I can say that it works very well. They criticize Russia from the podium, but then, when you meet someone in the cafeteria, or somewhere in the corridors, many shake hands and say that Russia is doing the right thing," said Alexey Tumanov.
When asked to explain the reason why PACE has not recognized the breakaway republics of Donetsk and Luhansk as terrorist organizations, the expert said that PACE has a procedure for determining certain terms. "DPR and LPR do not fit those terms. Who is a terrorist? A region can not be a terrorist, this is stupid. Why don't they call them maniacs or something. So they follow the terminology. They can call them separatists, but not terrorists," the expert said.
In a weary world of endless US military interventions, sanctions, trade tariffs and chaos, let’s pause and take stock of the shining house on the hill