Verkhovna Rada to revise principles of cooperation with PACE if restrictions lifted from Russian delegation
Ukraine's Verkhovna Rada passed a statement on Tuesday saying that a possible lifting of restrictions from Russia's delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) bypassing relevant resolutions will mean that PACE admits to its political incompetence and will force the Ukrainian parliament to reconsider the principles and mechanisms of its cooperation with the assembly.
A total of 242 Ukrainian MPs backed the statement, an Interfax-Ukraine correspondent reported.
The Ukrainian parliament sees as politically motivated the preparation of a PACE decision to change the procedure of the Assembly in terms of canceling the possibility to appeal against the powers of national delegations on substantive grounds or substantial complication of the procedure for such an appeal.
According to the statement, the purpose of preparing such a decision is to ensure the unimpeded and unconditional return to the PACE of the Russian delegation against the background of the categorical refusal of this state to comply with the legitimate demands of the Assembly related to the violation of the Statute of the Council of Europe by Russia.
The Verkhovna Rada emphasizes that preserving the authority and political viability of the PACE in the context of contemporary challenges in Europe is possible only if the existing institutional viability of the Assembly and its mechanisms for managing its own policies are maintained.
"Realizing that the destruction of the institutional framework will mean the recognition by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe of its political inability to follow its own decisions and the public demonstration of a waiver of the values and principles of the Council of Europe - the rule of law, democracy and human rights, will force the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine and its permanent delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe to carry out a complete revision of the principles on which cooperation with the Assembly is built, as well as the mechanisms of such cooperation," reads the statement.
Speaking from the parliament's rostrum, the head of the Verkhovna Rada delegation to the PACE, Volodymyr Ariev, stressed that Russia had not fulfilled more than ten resolutions that had been adopted by the Assembly over the past four years.
"Russia resorted to the frank blackmail of the Council of Europe, ceasing its financing, which is 7%. Unfortunately, all attempts to agree that all other countries compensate for these losses did not bring any result since Russia has a very powerful friend in the face of PACE Secretary General Thorbjorn Jagland, who is trying with all his might to ensure that Russia is returned," he said.
He also said that the Lithuanian Seimas had adopted a similar statement.