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Access to the so-called "Trophy" archives of the Russian Federation

Written question No. 754 to the Committee of Ministers | Doc. 15148 | 24 September 2020

Question from
Mr Dimitar GLAVCHEV, Bulgaria, EPP/CD

In its Opinion 193 (1996) on the application by Russia for membership of the Council of Europe, the Parliamentary Assembly stated that:

  • The Parliamentary Assembly notes that the Russian Federation shares fully its understanding and interpretation of commitments entered into as spelt out in paragraph 7, and intends:
  • (...) to negotiate claims for the return of cultural property to other European countries on an ad hoe basis that differentiates between types of property (archives, works of art, buildings, etc.) and of ownership (public, private or institutional);
  • (...) to settle rapidly all issues related to the return of property claimed by Council of Europe member States, in particular the archives transferred to Moscow in 1945;

Furthermore, in 2000, the Committee of Ministers adopted its Recommendation No. R(2000)13 to member States on a European policy on access to archives, which is also in force for the Russian Federation as a full member of the Council of Europe. The written question to the Committee of Ministers on this issue (No. 644, Doc. 13310 of 26 September 2013) was not answered, due to the expiration of the mover’s term of office, but this important and still unsolved problem deserves further consideration.

Mr Glavchev

To ask the Committee of Ministers:

How is the Committee of Ministers monitoring the implementation of its Recommendation No. R(2000)13 by member States and in particular by the Russian Federation in respect of the so-called "Trophy" archives which were transferred to Moscow in 1944-1945?