France: Russia ‘very unlikely’ to join PACE in 2018 — Russian lawmaker

Russian State Duma Head of the Committee for International Affairs Leonid Slutsky said it is “very unlikely that Russia would make an application for working in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe in 2018” after a meeting of the Presidential Committee of PACE in Paris on Tuesday. “We can hardly talk about [Russia] going back into PACE, before amendments about non-discrimination... Еще to participating countries’ delegations sent by the parliaments of those countries are made to the rules,” he said, adding “in theory [amendments] can be made only at the forthcoming European Council, which is very unlikely.” Russian State Duma Vice Speaker Pyotr Tolstoy, who also participated in meeting, said “We do our best to avoid issues that divide us, leaving it for further level-headed and thorough conversation, which I am sure, would take place with the Russian Federation participating in PACE.” The Russian PACE delegation was effectively suspended from any decision-making role in April 2014, following the conflict in Ukraine, which meant that Russia was deprived of its right to vote and participate in the work of PACE.

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