Kiev reacts to Jagland's statement on restoring Russia's voting rights in CoE
The statement by Secretary General of the Council of Europe Thorbjorn Jagland on the need to keep Russia in the Council of Europe shows that the most powerful forces are trying to form a coalition in any possible way in support of Russia's return to the PACE.
Ukraine's Permanent Representative to the Council of Europe Dmytro Kuleba told this to Ukrinform, while commenting on an article in the Financial Times with comments by Jagland on the need to return the Russian delegation to the PACE.
"Open and clear signals by such a high-ranking official as secretary general are a game for raising the stakes. Obviously, now, by all means, they want to form a coalition in support of Russia's return to the PACE, even at the expense of destroying the values, principles and mechanisms of influence of the Council of Europe," the diplomat said.
"For Ukraine, this means that the most powerful forces are openly involved in the struggle for Russia. However, we are ready to continue to defend our position and make difficult decisions. Ukraine now defends not only Ukrainian interests, but also the interests of the Council of Europe," Kuleba said.
The diplomat said that Jagland had lobbied for the return of the Russian delegation although Moscow had never stated the possibility of leaving the Council of Europe.
"The secretary general has really been touring in recent months, urging key European capitals to listen to Russia and keep it in the Council of Europe. At the same time, Russia itself has never voiced any opportunity to leave the organization," Kuleba said.
As reported, Jagland spoke out for Russia's return to the PACE and the lifting of sanctions against Russia over its aggression against Ukraine.
The head of the Ukrainian delegation to the PACE, MP Volodymyr Ariev, in turn, said that the return of the Russian Federation, which is lobbied by Jagland, significantly undermines the authority of the Council of Europe and reduces the force of resolutions that it adopted and that in this case the Ukrainian delegation "has nothing to do" in the PACE.
Russia was deprived of voting rights in the PACE in April 2014 after Crimean occupation and the beginning of hostilities in Donbas.
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