Moscow is not going to participate in the transformation of the Council of Europe into a platform for the West’s narcissism, the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
“The states of the EU and NATO, unfriendly to Russia, abusing their absolute majority in the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe (CMCE), continue the policy of destroying the Council of Europe and the common humanitarian and legal space in Europe.
“The course of events becomes irreversible. Russia does not intend to put up with these subversive actions carried out by the collective West in line with the imposition of a “rules-based order” to replace international law trampled by the United States and its satellites. Russia will not participate in the transformation by NATO and the EU, obediently following them of the oldest European organisation into another platform for incantations about Western superiority and narcissism. Let them enjoy communicating with each other, without Russia,” the ministry’s release says.
Russia joined the Council of Europe in the winter of 1996, and since then, Russia has observed a moratorium on the death penalty. Moscow then ratified the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Freedoms, reaffirming its commitment to the principles of humanism and democracy two years later.
Russia says that the country was not allowed to vote in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe several times, despite being one of the organisation’s five most prominent sponsors. After starting the special operation in Ukraine, the Council of Europe suspended Moscow’s membership.
A Senator Konstantin Kosachev told RIA Novosti withdrawal from the Council involves the simultaneous denunciation of its charter and convention on human rights. Another senator Andrei Klishas believes that it is necessary to immediately stop working in the CE and stop any payments in its favour.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, “But, of course, withdrawal from the Council of Europe implies withdrawal from all mechanisms.”
Council of Europe
The Council of Europe is an international organization designed to promote cooperation between the countries of Europe in the field of legal standards, human rights, democratic development and the rule of law.
Founded in 1949, the Council of Europe is the oldest Europe based international organization. It consists of 47 states, in which more than 800 million people live. The Council of Europe is a completely independent organization that is not part of the European Union. Unlike the EU, the Council of Europe cannot make binding laws. One key achievement of the Council of Europe is the development and adoption of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.
Created after World War II, the organisation has nothing to do with the European Union.
The Council of Europe suspended Russia’s right to representation in the Council of Europe in connection with the Russian invasion of Ukraine. “The Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, chaired by Italy, has decided to suspend the membership of the Russian Federation,” Italian Foreign Minister Luigi di Maio said on Friday, February 25.
The announcement comes after Lithuanian MP Emanuelis Zingeris from the faction of the European People’s Party and the Ukrainian MP Yevgeniya Kravchuk from the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe challenged the rights of the new Russian delegation at the opening session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) in Strasbourg on 24th February. The rights were challenged on substantive and procedural grounds.
According to the PACE procedural rules, violations of Article 3 of the Statute of the Council of Europe are considered “substantial grounds” for appeal. It states that each member country of the organization “must necessarily recognize the rule of law” and guarantee fundamental human rights to all persons “under its jurisdiction.”
Emanuelis Zingeris argued that Russia does not adhere to these principles, because the latest elections to the State Duma, held in September 2021, “were neither fair nor free.” In addition, “Russia did not comply with a number of PACE resolutions” regarding the occupation of part of the territories of Georgia and Ukraine.
Yevgenia Kravchuk said there was a violation of procedural requirements in the formation of the new delegation. She substantiated this by saying that during the parliamentary elections in Russia, “voting for the candidacies of deputies took place on the territory of the annexed Crimea.” “The Venice Commission stated that these districts cannot participate in the elections. Holding elections in Crimea is illegal,” Kravchuk said.
Both initiatives were supported by almost 50 deputies from more than five countries.
Russia has already temporarily lost its membership in the Council of Europe in the wake of the annexation of Crimea in 2014.