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Council of Europe suspends Russian voting rights over Ukraine

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Council of Europe suspends Russian voting rights over Ukraine


Russia has had a ban on its right to vote at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE)

The chamber said it was in condemnation of Russia’s grave ‘violations of international law in respect of Ukraine’.

In response to the diplomatic sanction, Russia’s delegation head Alexey Pushkov said he and his colleagues will boycott the assembly in protest.

“We had informed our colleagues that in the case of our credentials, our voting rights and the right to be present in the leading bodies of the Parliamentary Assembly – like the bureau, the standing committee – are withdrawn, even for a short period, then the Russian delegation stops its presence in the Parliamentary Assembly, leaves this session.”

Twenty-four hours earlier it had criticised Russia for funding and arming rebels in eastern Ukraine.

On Wednesday PACE also backed an amendment calling on Russia to free Ukrainian pilot Nadezhda Savchenko in 24 hours or turn her over to a third party. Savchenko was detained in July and is in Russian custody. She is suspected of involvement in the murder of two news network journalists in eastern Ukraine in June.

However, the assembly did not support an amendment which declared the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk Peoples’ Republics in eastern Ukraine ‘terrorist organisations’.

The Strasbourg-based Council is a 47-member state organisation dedicated to upholding human rights, democracy and the rule of law, overseeing the EU Court of Human Rights. It has met four times a year since 1949 to adopt recommendations, resolutions and opinions, which serve as guidelines for the Committee of Ministers, national governments, parliaments and political parties.

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