Moscow won’t re-engage with Council of Europe until voting rights restored

Moscow won’t re-engage with Council of Europe until voting rights restored

Moscow’s position on its participation in the work of the Council of Europe remains unchanged – no re-engagement until its voting right is restored, the Russian parliament speaker told his visiting Finnish counterpart, RT reports.

On Tuesday, Vyacheslav Volodin is hosting Paula Risikko during the official’s visit to Russia. Moscow’s continued absence from the work of the Council of Europe, the 47-member-strong rights body, topped the discussion. The Russian speaker said that, while Moscow values being part of the council and its various bodies, it won’t re-engage with it as long as discrimination against Russia there continues.

“We don’t require any special status for Russia. We insist on one thing, that all 47 member nations should be equal, as it is stated in the founding charter of the Council of Europe,” Volodin told Risikko.

The Russian Parliament is expected to review the situation later this week, but since no changes were made on the council’s side, legislators will recommend a continued freeze in relations, Volodin indicated.

Speaking to his Finnish guest, the Russian speaker said the difference of opinion about what happened in Ukraine in 2013-2014 will remain a stumbling block for Russia’s relations with other European nations.

“We believe a common understating has to be formed… Once we all acknowledge that there was an armed coup in Ukraine, an armed takeover of power, many issues and approaches will change and everything will fall in its place,” he said.

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Vestnik Kavkaza

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