Mezentseva in favor of attracting PACE reps to 'Crimean Platform'
Head of the permanent delegation of the Verkhovna Rada to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) Maria Mezentseva (Servant of the People faction) is in favor of attracting PACE representatives to the Crimean Platform.
"We have a definite opinion that the Crimean platform should also be extended to PACE," Mezentseva told Interfax-Ukraine.
She stressed that the Crimean issue remains acute and urgent and is not removed from the agenda of the Ukrainian delegation to PACE, "just like the war in Donbas."
"Of course, we will continue to talk about the violation of the rights of the Crimean Tatars and about what is happening in Crimea," Mezentseva said.
According to her, in this, the Ukrainian delegation to PACE is supported not only by members of the Baltic + group, but also by other European colleagues.
Mezentseva said that the other day she sent a letter to Strasbourg [to PACE] with an application for the presence of 12 delegates from Ukraine at the PACE winter session on January 25-28, which is expected to be held in a mixed mode.
She emphasized that the full-time presence of Ukrainian delegates in Strasbourg will confirm that "we are continuing the strategy, information company so that our colleagues do not forget that the war has been going on in Ukraine for more than seven years" and that the aggressor state – "Russia has not fulfilled almost a single obligations under the Statute of the Council of Europe."
According to Mezentseva, at the upcoming PACE session they will discuss "namely updating the procedure for the responsibility of a member state that does not fulfill its obligations or violates them."
Mezentseva recalled that the latest realities associated with COVID-19 are among the issues on the agenda of the PACE winter session.
"We will discuss vaccination, humanity, ethical issues," said the MP. She considers it important for the position of the Ukrainian delegation to be unified, for which all issues, including controversial ones, should be "spoken out" and discussed within the delegation.
"We represent the state of Ukraine, not political forces on the PACE platform. We have demonstrated this both in January  and in futher work. We did not have a single conflict within the delegation," Mezentseva noted.
The deputy noted that the Ukrainian delegation continues to work on issues like gender equality and the new course of "green Europe."
"This is a 'green agreement' which Ukraine joins in parallel with its European partners-friends, and does not catch up with someone. I really want that we will succeed. The relevant committees of the Ukrainian parliament – of European integration and environmental one have already been involved in this. We are moving step by step in this direction," Mezentseva said.
According to her, this project will need state funding and in this matter "a lot depends on parliamentary support and partnership."
At the same time, the head of the permanent delegation of the Verkhovna Rada to PACE admitted that due to the situation with the coronavirus not only in Ukraine, but also in Europe, it is not yet finally known whether the upcoming session will be held in a mixed format, as previously planned.
"It may happen that the hybrid session will be canceled and everything will be held online," Mezentseva said.