Russia’s State Duma, the lower house of parliament, has passed a statement “‘On an Anti-Russian Resolution of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe’ where it puts forward a tough condition for a continued dialogue with Russia in the form of a full lifting of sanctions against the Russian delegation.” Russian MPs voice vehement disagreement with the practice of double standards and discrimination against Russia, which was made manifest in the adoption of a PACE resolution on revising the powers of the Russian delegation.
“PACE is being led by the nose the forces, which have been viewing events in Ukraine in the past few months through the prism of the Cold War,” the statement says.
“In the wake of it, PACE has introduced sanctions against the delegation of Russian parliament through to the end of 2014, thus depriving the Russian MPs of the right to vote, to take part in the procedures of the assembly’s governing agencies and supervisory missions.”
“By hitting the road of ultimatums and bans the members of PACE who voted for these sanctions have blocked form themselves and for the entire assembly an opportunity to take part in the solution of knottiest problems of peace and security arising from the Ukrainian and crisis and the threat of a civil war in Central Europe,” the MPs say.
“Given the situation of repressive restrictions on the delegation of Russian parliament, a further fruitful cooperation with PACE does not seem possible,” the statement says.
“On the face of it, the budgetary allocations Russia makes to finance the Council of Europe, of which PACE is the parliamentary body, might be used with much greater efficiency on the Russian territory.”
The Duma says restoration of the full scope of powers of the Russian delegation at PACE and an opportunity to take part in the elaboration and adoption of decisions taken by the assembly is a mandatory condition for Russia’s engagement in PACE’s work.
Alexei Pushkov, the head of the Duma foreign policy committee who presented the draft statement, said signals were coming from PACE its members were waiting to follow the path of dialogue.
“We think all these hypocritical calls for a resumption of dialogue in the condition of sanctions should be turned down,” he said.
“All these proposals for a resumption of dialogue can’t be accepted in the situation where Russia is being subjected to discrimination can’t be accepted. The only way to revert to cooperation between Russia and PACE is to restore all of our capabilities for work in that organization.”
The statement also says that the majority of PACE members “conscientiously opted for distortions and denials of obvious facts and preferred to close their eyes to the showings of racism and xenophobia on the part of ultra-nationalistic organizations, the non-constitutional change of power in Ukraine, killings, and direct encroachments on human rights and freedoms committed by the adepts of the self-proclaimed Kiev authorities and the refusal of the latter to hold an objective investigation of bloodshed on the Maidan (Kiev’s notorious Independence Square).”
“By doing this the PACE majority betrayed the principles of supremacy of law and safeguarding of the main human rights and freedoms, the defense of which is the assembly’s duty,” Alexei Pushkov said.
He also said active attacks on Russia came from the states that had participated in the aggression against and occupation of Iraq, had subjected Serbia and its capital Belgrade to bombing raids, and had conducted a missile and bombing war against Libya in crude violation of a UN resolution.
“Over the past years, these countries have more purposefully and conscientiously encroached on international law and their actions have caused major bloodlettings, hundreds of thousands of victims and huge destructions,” Pushkov said.
“Yet nobody took any sanctions against those countries and they don’t have any moral right to judge Russia and to take any sanctions against it.”
It is highly desirable for PACE members to understand that it can play a constructive role of a pan-European cooperation body, which promotes ideals of equality, supremacy of law and freedoms, only if Russia plays a fruitful role in its activity.
“Any other road will lead to a political impasse,” Alexei Pushkov said.