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    Council of Europe Chief Insists Russia Should Unfreeze Payments to Organization

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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Secretary General of the Council of Europe Thorbjorn Jagland on Wednesday reiterated his call for Russia to resume paying its financial contribution to the organization’s budget, as it is obliged to do so under the Statute, Jagland's spokesperson Daniel Holtgen told Sputnik.

    "The Secretary-General has raised the issue of non-payment in the context of his visit Moscow [in June]. He today recalls the Russian Federation's obligations with regard to the Statute of the Organisation to pay its financial contribution. He recalls the financial difficulties for our Organisation created by the non-payment of their contribution within the legally agreed timeframe," Holtgen said.

    Jagland stressed that Moscow’s position was not tenable from the political and legal standpoints of the organization and called on Russia to pay what it owed the organization since 2017, Holtgen added.

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    Earlier in the day, the Russian Foreign Ministry said that it saw no grounds for resumption of the country's contributions to the CoE budget because the rights of its delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) had not been restored yet.

    Relations between Russia and the Council of Europe, particularly its parliamentary arm, worsened after PACE deprived the Russian delegation of the right to vote in the wake of Crimea’s reunification with Russia in 2014, which was not recognized by Western states.

    Since 2016, the Russian delegation at PACE has not been renewing its credentials ahead of the assembly’s sessions in protest of the discrimination within the organization.

    In June 2017, Moscow froze part of its Council of Europe contribution meant for Russia's PACE membership for 2018, until the Russian delegation's rights in the organization are completely restored.

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