MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The Council of Europe remains a unique pan-European organization created to ensure European cooperation, she added. Matvienko also recalled that the year 2016 marks the 20th anniversary of Russia's membership in the Council of Europe.
"We highly appreciate the focus of the Council of Europe on a full-scale, full-fledged dialogue with the leadership of Russia," Matvienko said at the meeting with Secretary General of the Council of Europe Thorbjorn Jagland.
On Tuesday, Jagland started his working visit to Russia. He has already met with Russian President Vladimir Putin to discuss the issues of Moscow’s participation in the Council of Europe’s activities.
Russia became a member of the Council of Europe, an organization seeking to strengthen human rights, democracy and the rule of law, on February 28, 1996.
In 2014, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) adopted a resolution, under which the Russian delegation was deprived of the right to vote and the right to be represented in the governing structures of PACE for a year, a measure that was later extended for another year. Such restrictions were meant as a mark of the West's disapproval of Crimea's reunification with Russia, as well as Moscow's alleged involvement in the Ukraine crisis.
In January, Russia decided not to send the documents to PACE to confirm the credentials of the delegation, while the country is still a member of the assembly. In October, reports emerged that Russia might fully return to PACE in early 2017 under certain conditions, in particular, the full restoration of the Russian delegation's rights and credentials.
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