Russia in the Council of Europe – will you stay, will you go?

Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe PACE
Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe PACE

Today, Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov announced that Russia will withdraw from the Council of Europe (CoE). The statement was made, but no formal decision was taken by Russia… writes Laima Andrikienė, the Chairperson of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the Parliament on her Facebook wall.

The reason for the statement is that the CoE Committee of Ministers, where all member states are represented at the governmental level, is meeting yesterday and today. This Committee may take a decision tonight to expel Russia from the CoE without having heard/without having heard from the CoE PA.

Lavrov and Russia are trying to avoid embarrassment and global condemnation by announcing – in due course – that they will withdraw from the EC? Or is it bluffing once again, thus trying to avoid being excluded, so that a decision is not taken today because Russia is supposedly withdrawing itself?

If the expected decision is not taken tonight by the CoE Committee of Ministers, it will be taken up by the CoE PA next Monday and Tuesday. The Lithuanian Seimas delegation will attend the Extraordinary Session of the ECJ in Strasbourg and will do its duty.

Russia has no place in the Council of Europe, whose founding principles are democracy, respect for human rights and the rule of law.

Russia’s membership in the Council of Europe has been suspended since 25 February. The decision was taken unanimously in the presence of representatives of the CoE Committee of Ministers and the CoE PA.

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