Putin: Russia and Council of Europe should keep an open mind with regard to each other
Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Russia and Council of Europe should address issues together and keep an open mind with regard to each other.
"We must ... assess objectively everything that happens in our countries," he noted, addressing a news conference held jointly with President of Finland Sauli Niinisto.
It is necessary "to search for solution together to those issues that arise," the Russian president pointed out.
Putin also touched on Russia's presence in the Council of Europe. “We are not really interested if they don’t want to see us there,” TASS cited him as saying.
Niinisto, in turn, noted that Russia’s continuous work within the frames of the Council of Europe is very important. The Finnish leader recalled that Russia "has been playing an active role in the work" of the Council of Europe since June. President Niinisto also said it was extremely important that Russia "maintained its place in the European system of human rights protection."
In April 2014, the Russian delegation to PACE was stripped of its key rights, including the right to vote and take part in the assembly’s governing bodies, in the wake of developments in Ukraine and Crimea. On June 26, 2019, the PACE session passed a resolution fully reinstating the Russian delegation and confirming its rights. On July 2, Moscow reportedly paid its due to the Council of Europe’s budget for 2019