Tiny Kox, the President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), has welcomed the decision of the Committee of Ministers to exclude the Russian Federation from the organisation as of today.
The decision comes as an immediate reaction to the Opinion unanimously adopted by the Assembly yesterday (15 March 2022) during an extraordinary plenary session, which stated that “the Russian Federation has committed grave violations of the Council of Europe Statute and, therefore, can no longer be a member State of this organisation”.
“It is sad that we have to expel a country after 26 years of membership,” said Mr Kox. “But it was necessary, and I am glad we dared to do so. PACE remains on the side of the victims of this unprovoked war of aggression by the Russian Federation against Ukraine, and all our thoughts are now with the Ukrainian people.”
The PACE President also thanked the Committee of Ministers and the Secretary General for the effective co-operation which made today’s decision possible.
Finally, the President deplored that Russian citizens will now lose the protection of the European Convention on Human Rights. He stressed that the Council of Europe should continue to engage with human rights defenders, democratic forces, free media and independent civil society in Russia.