Russian senate speaker says no plans to withdraw from Council of Europe

Russia cannot exist and develop outside of Europe so the withdrawal from the Council of Europe is out of the question.

The statement came from Federation Council (upper house of parliament) Speaker Valentina Matviyenko speaking in an interview with Russia’s RBC media outlet on Monday.

"As for Russia’s withdrawal from the Council of Europe, it is not on the agenda," she said. "We cannot imagine our future, our existence and development without Europe, as well as Europe cannot imagine itself without Russia, I believe," the Russian senate speaker added.

When speaking about interaction with the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), Matviyenko pointed out that the current crisis situation needed to be resolved.

According to her, work is underway to create conditions to ensure that all the 47 member states of the Council of Europe have equal rights and obligations. "We still insist that changes are introduced in the PACE regulations to prevent the very possibility of discrimination against any national delegation… We will not apply for the return of our PACE membership until conditions are created for that," the Russian senate speaker stressed.

"We cannot but implement them. Russia is a responsible member of the global community. We assumed certain obligations, ratified the European Convention on Human and other documents of the Council of Europe and we will definitely abide by them. But the crisis situation in the PACE should be resolved," Matviyenko said.


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