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    Russia Cutting Council of Europe Budget Dues 'Fair Reaction' to Russophobia

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    Ilyas Umakhanov, the deputy speaker of the Russian parliament's upper chamber, stated that he considers cutting Russia’s contribution to the Council of Europe (CoE) as a "fair reaction of Russia, taking into account the Russophobic attitudes that are now present in the PACE."

    YALTA (Sputnik) — Cutting Russia’s contribution to the Council of Europe (CoE) is Russia’s "fair reaction" to the presence of Russophobia within the organization, Ilyas Umakhanov, the deputy speaker of the Russian parliament's upper chamber, told Sputnik on Tuesday.

    Earlier in the day, Speaker of the Russian lower chamber of parliament Vyacheslav Volodin said that Russia has "blocked" the transfer of year-end CoE dues, which amount to 11 million euros ($12.39 million).

    Media reports suggested that Russia would cut down its dues to the council's budget because of the Russian delegation's absence at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE).

    "I consider this a fair reaction of Russia, taking into account the Russophobic attitudes that are now present in the Parliamentary Assembly [PACE]," Umakhanov said.

    The lawmaker stressed that up until this point, Russia had made all its payments in advance.

    "But our funds should not be allocated to the organization, where there is a huge number of Russophobes and in the work of which the Russian delegation has not been participating for two years already," Umakhanov added.

    Russia is one of the main contributors to the CoE budget along with France, the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, and more recently, Turkey. Moscow's total contribution for the adjusted 2017 CoE budget is supposed to more than 33 million euros, according to the organization's website.

    Russia left PACE in late 2015 following the assembly's resolutions in 2014 and 2015 deprived the Russian delegation of the right to vote at the assembly’s sessions, as well as of the right to participate in the work of its three key bodies: the Bureau, the Presidential Committee and the Standing Committee over Crimea's secession to Russia.

    Russia did not renew its credentials ahead of the Assembly’s 2016 and 2017 winter sessions and made its return conditional on the full restoration of its delegates' voting rights.


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