MOSCOW, September 17 (RIA Novosti) - Russia hopes the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe will not remove Russia's voting rights over its recognition of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, a Foreign Ministry spokesman said on Thursday.
"We hope that common sense will prevail at the PACE autumn session, and the parliamentary members will not indulge Georgia in its military ambitions," Andrei Nesterenko said.
Last week, 72 PACE members from the 642-body signed a motion that could see Russia lose its voting rights over the country's failure to comply with a resolution on the former Georgian republics of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.
The proposal, put forward by Georgia, has not been adopted, but is due to be discussed at the fall session, starting September 28.
Nesterenko said the Parliamentary Assembly is the only Council of Europe body to "completely ignore the new military and political reality in the South Caucasus and does not recognize the responsibility of Tbilisi in unleashing the war in South Ossetia."
"Furthermore, PACE members, with their short-sighted policy, bestow a doubtful benefit upon the Georgian people," Nesterenko said. "It feeds the illusions of Georgian authorities, who believe that the whole world supports the regime established by Mr. Saakashvili."
"The question is how such a policy correlates with the fundamental principles of the Council of Europe," Nesterenko added.
Earlier on Thursday, the Russian delegation head Konstantin Kosachyov said the Russian delegation would leave the session if parliamentary members vote to deprive Russia of its voting rights, even if the move is temporary.
The motion would require the backing of a simple majority of those present to pass.
Russia and Georgia fought a five-day war after Georgian forces attacked South Ossetia on August 8 last year in an attempt to regain control over the breakaway republic. In response, Russia launched a military operation to eject Georgian troops from the region and then recognized the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, another breakaway republic.
PACE adopted a resolution last fall calling on Russia to retract its August 26, 2008, recognition of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, which Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has called irreversible.
Abkhazia and South Ossetia split from Georgia in the early 1990s, and most residents of both republics have had Russian citizenship for a number of years.