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    According to the State Department, the US welcomes the PACE decision to extend its suspension of the Russian delegation's voting rights in that assembly until at least April 2015.

    WASHINGTON, January 30 (Sputnik) — The United States welcomes the decision of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) to suspend Russian delegation’s voting rights in the organization, the State Department official told Sputnik.

    “We welcome PACE’s January 28 decision to extend its suspension of the Russian delegation's voting rights in that assembly until at least April 2015,” the official told Sputnik Thursday.

    The PACE adopted a resolution on Wednesday, depriving the Russian delegation of voting rights in the organization and cancelling its participation in the work of the Council of Europe until at least its April session, accusing Moscow of participating in the military conflict in the southeast of Ukraine, which Russia has repeatedly denied.

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    In response to the PACE’s decision, the head of the Russian delegation Alexei Pushkov said that Russia is suspending its work in PACE until the end of the year.

    The state department official noted that they had seen reports about the decision of the Russian delegation to suspend its role in the organization.

    “We respect the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe as an important European institution, dedicated to promoting democracy, human rights, and the rule of law,” the official said.

    For the first time, PACE suspended the Russian delegation’s voting rights back in spring 2014 in response to Russia’s reunification with Crimea. In protest, the Russian delegation walked out of the PACE spring 2014 session and skipped the summer session.

    The PACE’s resolution stresses that the revision of the decision and other sanctions against Russia could be held during opening meetings of the April session if Moscow demonstrates substantial progress in meeting the PACE demands over Russia’s alleged role in the Ukrainian crisis, including the protection of rights of the Crimean Tatars.

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    PACE Calls for Immediate Release of Ukrainian Pilot Savchenko
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    Tags:
    voting rights, PACE, United States, Russia
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