December 7, 2019

The comeback of Russian delegation to PACE was not the surprise. Though the delegations of PACE participating states who recovered Russia’s status in the Assembly might not clearly understand the aftermath of their decision.

After the voting for new set of rules (which excludes the right to impose sanctions against PACE members) and return of Russian delegation it became clear that Russia’s position remained unchanged. It was confirmed by the another violation of organization’s rules – Russia refused to pay fee debts for the recent years declaring their preparedness to pay only the current year fee.

What were the reasons to return Russia to PACE? The arguments pro and contra this decision are worth to be overviewed. These arguments are very controversial. It is well known that Russia threatened to quit PACE in case of sanctions.

One of the reasons of returning Russian delegation to PACE was the need to guarantee the implementation of human rights of Russian citizens securing their right to bring a claim before the European Court of Human Rights, which would be impossible if Russia quit PACE. However being full PACE member, Russia regularly violated the rights of its citizens, implementing only compensation decisions of the European Court of Human Rights and disregarding the issues concerning unlawful sentencing. Comparing previous situation to today’s it was not a big deal as far as protection of Russian citizens’ rights became one of the major reason to return Russia to PACE.

Another reason for Russia’s supporters was alleged loss of legitimacy by PACE in case of Russia (the country, which occupies great part of Europe) falling beyond PACE. However, if PACE executives are so far concerned by protection of human rights in Russia, why the repetitive violations of these rights in Russia caused no reaction of PACE years ago?

It is obvious that Russian ideology remains authoritarian, anti-liberal, and militaristic one. Its aggressive and occupation strategy is the same contradicting with all PACE principles stated in their rules. Still Russia returned to PACE without acceptance of PACE requirements and has obtained large international tribune to promote its interests.

Returning Russian delegation its authority without any preconditions, Council of Europe started its self-destruction. This precedent shows that the requirements of PACE are optional and could be omitted. The first statements of the Russian delegates confirmed the assumption of states, who voted against Russia’s return to PACE that Russia will continue its aggressive and forthright policy. Those representing Russian delegation serve as another proof of it, since they are quite odious persons who keep promoting ‘Russian world’ ideology.

PACE gave Russia a free hand by lifting sanctions mechanism against infringers of organization’s rules and principles. Now being not bound by sanctions Russia may act even more cynical, achieving its goals and destroying the principles of partnership and security in the region.

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