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Visit of PACE rapporteurs to Russia: new impetus to political dialogue

The co-rapporteurs for the monitoring of Russia, Axel Schäfer (Germany, SOC) and Ria Oomen-Ruijten (Netherlands, EPP/CD), carried out a fact-finding visit to Moscow from 28 to 30 June 2021 in the framework of the preparation of their report to be submitted to the Assembly in 2022.

They met the Deputy Speakers of the State Duma and the Federation Council, representatives of the parliamentary factions in the State Duma and the Russian delegation to the PACE, as well as representatives of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Justice, representatives of the Supreme Court and the General Prosecutor’s Office, the Head of the Central Electoral Commission and the Federal Ombudsperson. They also held meetings with representatives of the extra-parliamentary opposition (Yabloko), NGOs and Ambassadors of Germany, the Netherlands and other representatives of the diplomatic community.

During their meetings, they raised a number of issues resulting from the commitments and obligations undertaken by the Russian Federation upon accession to the Council of Europe and contained in the Assembly’s Opinion 193 (1996).

The visit, first since 2014 and conducted as planned despite deteriorating sanitary conditions, gave a new impetus to political dialogue and will be continued within the monitoring process in the coming months. Another visit is foreseen before the submission of the report.