PACE has voted to ratify the credentials of the Russian delegation after they were challenged on substantial grounds on the second day of its plenary session in Strasbourg, declaring that it remained “committed to dialogue as a means of reaching lasting solutions”.
However, in return the Assembly called on Russia to fulfil a series of recent Assembly recommendations, citing among other things the release of Ukrainian sailors, co-operation on bringing to justice those responsible for downing Flight MH17, and taking measures to end violations of the rights of LGBTI people, especially in Chechnya.
In a resolution based on a report by Sir Roger Gale (United Kingdom, EC), the parliamentarians pointed out that the Assembly was a place 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 could be “kept accountable” on the basis of the Organisation’s values and principles.
The Assembly said it expected its “clear offer of dialogue” to be reciprocal and to lead to concrete results. It resolved to debate a report on the honouring of obligations and commitments by Russia no later than the April 2020 part-session.
Concerning a separate challenge on procedural grounds, PACE President Liliane Maury Pasquier said that since the Assembly’s Rules Committee had been unable to adopt a report, a challenge on procedural grounds was still outstanding, with the effect that members of the Russian delegation may sit provisionally with the same rights as other Assembly members.