Challenge, on substantive grounds, of the still unratified credentials of the parliamentary delegation of the Russian Federation
- Parliamentary Assembly
debate on 26 June 2019 (24th Sitting) (see Doc. 14922, report of the Committee on the Honouring of Obligations
and Commitments by Member States of the Council of Europe (Monitoring
Committee), rapporteur: Sir Roger Gale). Text
adopted by the Assembly on 26 June 2019 (24th Sitting).
The Parliamentary Assembly takes
note of the presentation of credentials by the Russian Federation, after
adoption of Resolution
“Role and mission of the Parliamentary Assembly:
main challenges for the future”, the decision of the Committee of
Ministers of 18 May 2019 and Resolution
on strengthening the decision-making process
of the Parliamentary Assembly concerning credentials and voting.
2 On 25 June 2019, the still unratified credentials of the Russian
delegation were challenged on the basis of Rules 8.1 and 8.2 of
the Rules of Procedure of the Assembly on the grounds that the military
aggression by the Russian Federation in eastern Ukraine, as well
as its continued illegal annexation of Crimea, are in contradiction
with the Statute of the Council of Europe (ETS No. 1) and with the
country’s obligations and commitments.
The Assembly recalls its Resolution 1990 (2014)
on the reconsideration
on substantive grounds of the previously ratified credentials of
the Russian Federation; Resolution
on the challenge, on substantive grounds,
of the still unratified credentials of the delegation of the Russian
Federation, and Resolution
on the consideration of the annulment of
the previously ratified credentials of the delegation of the Russian
Federation (follow-up to paragraph 16 of Resolution 2034 (2015)
) in which
it resolutely condemned the grave violations of international law
committed by the Russian Federation with regard to the conflict
in eastern Ukraine and the illegal annexation of Crimea.
4 The Assembly regrets the Russian Parliament’s decision to
suspend co-operation with the Assembly and not to submit the credentials
of its delegation at the opening of parliamentary sessions in 2016,
2017, 2018 and 2019 and following the parliamentary elections in
the Russian Federation in September 2016.
5 Similarly, the Assembly deplores the suspension, which has
been in effect since July 2017, by the Russian Federation of the
payment of its annual fees to the Council of Europe’s budget for
which the Russian Federation is nevertheless legally liable.
6 While regretting the lack of co-operation by the Russian Federation
in the framework of the Assembly’s monitoring procedure, the Assembly
expresses its concern over a number of exacerbating negative tendencies with
regard to democracy, the rule of law and human rights, which are
having an impact on the fulfilment of other commitments and obligations
of the Russian Federation.
7 At the same time, it should be highlighted that the Assembly
has always remained committed to dialogue as a means of reaching
lasting solutions, as illustrated by the aforementioned resolutions.
The Parliamentary Assembly constitutes the most important pan-European
platform where political dialogue on the Russian Federation’s obligations
under the Statute of the Council of Europe can take place, with
the participation of all those concerned and where the Russian delegation
can be held accountable on the basis of the Council of Europe’s
values and principles.
The Assembly refers to its Resolution 2277 (2019)
, which proposed
to set up, in addition to existing procedures, a joint procedure
of reaction which could be initiated by either the Assembly, the
Committee of Ministers or the Secretary General of the Council of
Europe “in order to strengthen the Organisation’s ability to react
more effectively in situations where a member State violates its
statutory obligations or does not respect the fundamental principles
and values upheld by the Council of Europe”. In the light of the
reaction of the Committee of Ministers expressed at its 129th ministerial
session, the Assembly resolves to immediately start working on the
establishment of such a joint mechanism, which should be politically
impartial and effective. It should be made operational without delay.
9 Furthermore, the Assembly notes that the Committee of Ministers
“having regard to the importance of the elections of the Secretary
General and of judges of the European Court of Human Rights, would
welcome that delegations of all member States take part in the next
June part-Session of the Parliamentary Assembly”, as indicated in
its decision adopted at the 129th ministerial session on a shared
responsibility for democratic security in Europe and ensuring respect
for rights and obligations, principles, standards and values.
10 Consequently, the Assembly resolves to ratify the credentials
of the Russian delegation.
12 The Russian delegation must without any further delay return
to co-operating with the Monitoring Committee, and all other committees
of the Assembly, and engage in meaningful dialogue on the fulfilment
of its commitments and obligations. Access should be granted to
the Council of Europe’s monitoring representatives.
Furthermore, the Assembly calls on the Russian authorities
13.1 release the 24 Ukrainian
sailors captured in the Kerch Strait on the charge of “illegally
crossing the border of the Russian Federation”;
13.2 immediately pay all fees due to the Council of Europe
13.3 unconditionally and fully co-operate with the joint investigation
team and the Dutch prosecution service in bringing those responsible
for the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 to justice;
13.4 take effective measures aimed at preventing violations
of the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex
(LGBTI) people, in particular in the Chechen Republic, and prosecute the
perpetrators for acts committed in the past;
13.5 co-operate fully with the international community in the
investigation of the murder of Boris Nemtsov;
13.6 co-operate fully with all human rights monitoring agencies,
and enable their complete and unfettered access to all locations
in which Russia has operational activities.
14 The Assembly expects that its clear offer of dialogue will
be accepted and will lead to concrete results. It invites its Monitoring
Committee to present a report on the honouring of obligations and
commitments by the Russian Federation at its earliest convenience
but no later than the April 2020 part-session.