PACE’s Monitoring Committee has deeply regretted the Russian Federation’s “manifest lack of progress” in meeting the demands made by the Assembly in January with regard to the conflict in eastern Ukraine and the illegal annexation of Crimea, and repeated those demands – but, noting the sanctions already in place, said it would not annul the credentials of the Russian PACE delegation at this time, and urged it to re-establish dialogue with the Assembly.
In a draft resolution approved on 28 May in Paris, based on a report by Stefan Schennach (Austria, SOC), the parliamentarians said the Russian delegation’s decision to suspend all official contacts with the Parliamentary Assembly until the end of 2015 was “a clear rejection” of the Assembly’s offer of dialogue.
“It is now essential that the Russian parliament and its delegation to the Assembly express their unequivocal commitment to enter into a dialogue, without pre-conditions, with the Assembly on Russia’s compliance with the obligations and honouring of commitments to the Council of Europe, including with regard to its policy towards its neighbouring States,” the committee said in its draft resolution.
The committee also reiterated its demands that the Russian authorities:
• fully implement the Minsk Agreements and associated package of measures;
• immediately reverse the illegal annexation of Crimea;
• release, with immediate effect, Nadiia Savchenko and allow her to return to Ukraine;
• release all captives, in particular civilians and including captives held in Russia, and use their influence on insurgent forces to do the same;
• cease harassing and prosecuting citizens, activists, NGOs and media organisations in Russia that are critical of Russia’s role in Ukraine;
• bring the law on foreign agents fully into line with European standards;
• fully respect rights to freedom of assembly and expression.
The draft resolution is to be debated and voted on by the Assembly at its forthcoming summer session (22-26 June).