12:17 GMT +322 October 2019
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    Russia May Be Asked to Leave Council of Europe – Jagland

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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The Council of Europe (CoE) member states will have to make a decision in connection with Russia's refusal to resume payments to the organization's budget, and there is a possibility that Moscow will be asked to leave the council, Secretary General of the Council of Europe (CoE) Thorbjorn Jagland has stated.

    "The matter is now urgent. Our member states will soon have to take a decision on Russia’s non-payment. This procedure could lead to Russia being asked to leave. It is not too late to prevent RUXIT. I am appealing to our governments to take their responsibility seriously and to find a solution with Russia. There must be a dialogue at the highest level for the conference of Foreign Ministers in Helsinki in May 2019," Jagland told reporters.

    The official told reporters that he had informed the CoE Committee of Ministers about drafting the 2019 budget without Russia's contribution.

    Leonid Slutsky, the head of the Russian parliament's upper house’s Foreign Affairs Committee, said on October 11 that Russia was unlikely to change its stance on CoE payments. Russian upper house speaker Valentina Matviyenko said earlier the same day that Russia would make its final decision on CoE participation by January.

    In June 2017, Moscow froze part of its CoE 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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    Since 2016, the Russian delegation at PACE has not been renewing its credentials ahead of the assembly’s sessions in protest against the discrimination within the organization.

    The relations between PACE and the Russian lawmakers have been tense since 2014 when Russia was stripped of its voting rights in PACE governing bodies over the different stances on the Ukrainian conflict.


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