President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), Pedro Agramunt, stated that all political sanctions against Russia imposed as a result of the illegal annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation should be lifted and the Assembly should make everything possible to return Russian delegation.
During his visit to Moscow Pedro Agramunt spoke in favour of the continuation of contact between PACE and the Russian Federation, according to the PACE official website:
“We must continue dialogue with Russian MPs, because if their voice is not heard, our debates cannot reflect the diversity of views and opinions that exist in Europe. The Speakers of the State Duma and the Federation Council, as well as the Russian parliamentarians from the Foreign Affairs Committee of both chambers, are open to discussions and this is a good basis for the continuation of our cooperation. I look forward to the continuation of our dialogue,” concluded PACE President.
Automatically re-elected PACE President Pedro Agramunt was discussing the return of the Russian delegation in the Assembly and urged the leaders of the political groups to hold consultations in their groups on this issue.
“I believe that the Russians should be here in the Assembly, and they should have full rights in the organisation. But it is not up to me to make the decision – it is the assembly that should make the decision,” said Pedro Agramunt.
After the plenary session, political group of Liberals discussed return of the Russian delegation for 40 minutes, reports the correspondent of 112.
“Spaniards and Italians mainly speak in favor of Russia’s return. Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia are generally on the Ukrainian side. The discussions in other groups are still under way,” he noted.
In 2014 and 2015, the PACE adopted a resolution that deprived Russia of the right to vote. Pedro Agramunt said that PACE members are to decide on removing sanctions against Russia imposed as a result of the illegal annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation. PACE President expressed his regret that Russia does not participate in the work of the Assembly. According to him, Russia should have full rights at the PACE.
“The Council of Europe will not stand on both feet without cooperation with the Russian Federation,” added the PACE President.
In January 2017, the Russian delegation intended to return to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, only if the rights of the Russian delegation in the work of the body could be restored to the fullest. However the Russian delegation will not participate in PACE session in 2017 in Strasbourg, France, on January 23-27.