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Aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine: special page

Following the decision to suspend the Russian Federation’s rights of representation in the Council of Europe, the Parliamentary Assembly held an extraordinary plenary session in hybrid mode on 14 and 15 March 2022 to discuss the consequences of the aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine.

 

The decision to suspend Russia was taken by the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers on 25 February, following an exchange of views with Assembly members at a meeting of the Joint Committee convened by PACE President Tiny Kox. The Joint Committee brings together both government representatives and parliamentarians from the Council of Europe.

Four days earlier, on 21 February, PACE President made a statement on the recognition of the so-called ‘people’s republics’ of Donetsk and Luhansk by the Russian Federation and stated that ii represented "a violation of international law and a unilateral breach of the Minsk agreements".

On 24 February, Tiny Kox said he was deeply appalled by the military attack of the Russian Federation against Ukraine, and urged the Russian authorities to immediately end its military action and withdraw its forces from Ukraine. "This attack is in clear breach of the principles and values that the Council of Europe and its member states stand for. It requires a robust and consolidated response from our Organisation", he said.

On 3 March, PACE President called for the opening of humanitarian corridors for all those in need in Ukraine. "I urge the Russian Federation to respect its obligations under international humanitarian law, notably the 1949 Geneva Conventions and their additional protocols, which provides that the civilian population and those no longer taking part in the fighting, such as prisoners, the wounded and sick, are protected. This is a legal obligation that knows no exceptions", he declared.

The Assembly held an extraordinary plenary session on Monday 14 and Tuesday 15 March. The Committee of Ministers had decided to consult the Assembly on potential further measures to be taken, after suspending the Russian Federation's rights of representation under Article 8 of the Organisation's Statute on 25 February in response to "serious violations" of its statutory obligations as a member state.

At the end of the extraordinary plenary session, the PACE unanimously adopted an Opinion calling on the Committee of Ministers to request the Russian Federation “to immediately withdraw from the Council of Europe”.

On 16 March, the Committee of Ministers decided, in the context of the procedure launched under Article 8 of the Statute of the Council of Europe, that the Russian Federation ceased to be a member of the Council of Europe as from that day, after 26 years of membership.

 
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