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PACE Blacklisting EU Lawmakers For Crimea, Donbass Trips Lacks Legal Weight

© Sputnik / Vladimir Fedorenko  / Go to the photo bankPACE winter session
PACE winter session - Sputnik International
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The recent resolution by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) to blacklist EU lawmakers for visiting Crimea and war zones in East Ukraine does not amount to sanctions, a senior Russian lawmaker said Wednesday.

CAIRO (Sputnik) — PACE adopted a resolution on blacklisting lawmakers after a group of French parliament members headed by Thierry Mariani visited Crimea last summer.

"PACE has no right to tell lawmakers what they can do, neither allow nor prohibit anything. All PACE resolutions are effectively recommendations," Alexei Pushkov, the head of the Russian lower-house committee for foreign affairs, told reporters.

He underscored that PACE’s alleged move to impose "sanctions, penalties or other punishments on lawmakers visiting Crimea is absolutely unlawful."

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According to Pushkov, the PACE resolution merely indicated that it would blacklist any EU parliamentarians who visit territories deemed by Kiev to be occupied without first seeking approval from the Ukrainian authorities.

The amendment to hold EU lawmakers responsible for going to Donbass or Crimea was tabled by Ukraine. Ukrainian lawmaker George Logvinsky said the motion was adopted by PACE on Tuesday.

Crimea became a part of Russia in March 2014, after more than 96 percent of votes in a referendum held among the local electorate were cast in favor of seceding from Ukraine and joining Russia.

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