Ukraine recalls Permanent Ukraine's rep to CoE for consultations in connection with PACE's decision on Russian delegation – Klimkin
Foreign Minister of Ukraine Pavlo Klimkin has said that he is recalling Dmytro Kuleba, the Permanent Representative of Ukraine to the Council of Europe (CoE) for consultations, in connection with the decision of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) on returning the Russian delegation to PACE.
"In all other respects, the Council of Europe has lost our trust, and it will be extremely difficult to restore it. From the leader making efforts to protect human rights, the Organization has turned into a simple midsized manager. Therefore, we recall our ambassador to the CoE for consultations," Klimkin wrote on his page on Facebook on Tuesday.
Klimkin said the problem is not at all in the very fact of the return of the Russian delegation to the PACE (in his opinion, it is rather an unpleasant symbolism), but in the fact that it is "an impetus to the creation of a new normality in relations with Russia."
"A good half or even more European countries and politicians favor this normality. We must speak with them directly and frankly. The share of responsibility for the decline of the Council of Europe falls on them. I have already mentioned the consequences for the Normandy format and the Minsk platform," Klimkin said.
He stressed that real challenges will appear when countries and politicians who supported the return of Russia to PACE "will try to resolve issues of Donbas and energy independence, for example, gas transit" at the expense of Ukraine. "And we risk feeling this right after the parliamentary elections," said Klimkin.
Klimkin said the decision to return the Russian delegation to the PACE was taken before the presidential elections in Ukraine. He said it was brewing, and would have been made with any development of the political situation in Ukraine.
"It's especially disappointing that all of this happened behind the French presidency of the Council of Europe. Being the founding country of the Normandy format and deploying the red carpet in front of Russian deputies without fulfilling any of the conditions put forward by Russia, is, sorry for my French, complete mauvais ton (fr. bad form, lack of manners). Just total cognitive dissonance, which will still be echoed in Europe," Klimkin said.
He also expressed gratitude to the Ukrainian delegation to the PACE for the fact that they "gave it their all."
"I'm not going to push our parliamentarians to make decisions regarding the format of their participation in PACE. We have nothing to look for both politically and emotionally. Therefore, suspension of participation in PACE is quite a logical step. But not forever, in order not to give the CoE as a sacrifice to Russia and her friends. It's much more difficult with the Council of Europe. It's our legal and human duty to participate in its mechanisms for protecting human rights. Although the arsenal of these mechanisms is far from ideal, it's important," Klimkin said.