Russian Delegation stripped of voting rights at PACE

Updated: 2015-01-29 08:51


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STRASBOURG - The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) voted on Wednesday to strip the Russian delegation of its voting rights until April 2015.

In a tweet published on Wednesday evening, Alexey Pushkov, Chairperson of the Russian delegation has claimed they will suspend their participation "until at least the end of 2015" in response to the decision. He has also confirmed the Russian Delegation does not have plans to leave the Council of Europe.

The sanction came as part of an amendment to a draft resolution that was prepared by Stefan Schennach (Austria, Party of European Socialists) in response to a challenge to the Russian delegation's credentials. The document originally proposed to ratify those credentials amidst other sanctions, but was amended to deny voting rights until the next session of the assembly in April 2015.

In what can be seen as a clear rebuke to the Russian delegation for the annexation of Crimea in March 2014, 160 members of PACE voted in favor of the draft resolution, with 42 against, and 11 abstentions.

After having its voting rights suspended over the same conflict in April 2014, the Russian delegation was challenged again at the beginning of the 2015 Winter Session of the PACE, in a motion tabled on Monday, Jan 26, by Robert Walter, Conservative Member of Parliament of the United Kingdom and Chairperson of the British delegation.