02:22 GMT +307 December 2019
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    In April, PACE suspended Russia's voting rights over the country's reunification with Crimea.

    Ukraine May Put PACE Membership on Hold if Russia Returns

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    Ukraine could walk out of the Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) if Russia returned to the forum, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin said Monday.

    KIEV (Sputnik) — Russian lawmakers have been absent from the assembly, which brings together 324 members of parliaments of the Council's 47 member states, since Crimea left Ukraine for Russia in early 2014.

    "If Russians have their rights restored, for instance in PACE, we will consider our options, including abstaining from PACE’s work," Klimkin told ICTV channel’s Freedom of Speech show.

    The minister stressed that the final say lay with the national parliament’s delegates but in case of Russia’s comeback he would "recommend taking very radical steps."

    PACE adopted a resolution in April 2014, barring Russian lawmakers from participating in the work of its three key bodies – the Bureau, the Presidential Committee and the Standing Committee.

    Russia did not renew its credentials ahead of the Assembly’s 2016 winter session and made its return conditional on the full restoration of its delegates' voting rights.

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