20:30 GMT23 September 2020
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    On June 30, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov informed Secretary General of the Council of Europe Thorbjorn Jagland about Russia's decision to suspend contribution payments to the CE budget for 2017.

    In an interview with Radio Sputnik, political expert Oleg Matveychev said that this decision had been suggested for a long time.

    "Russia has been paying money for all these pan-European structures for many years, and these contributions are large, proportional to the size of the country. At the same time, Europe has been imposing sanctions against us, it has always been opposing itself to us," Matveychev said.

    "The most important thing is that they use these (pan-European) platforms to promote Russophobic hysteria. We give them money, and they scold us, release all sorts of media reports criticizing us. It is wrong to finance such a coven, and if they want to do such [black] PR, let them do it using their own means," Matveichev said.

    According to the expert, the payment of contributions makes sense only if it gives the payer certain rights.

    "Only if we can participate in the work on equal rights, if we have the opportunity to express our position, then it makes sense to contribute. Otherwise it is strange, at the very least," Matveichev said.

    Russia left the Parliamentary Assembly to the Council of Europe (PACE) in late 2015 following the assembly's resolutions in 2014 and 2015 depriving 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 unification with Russia.

    In late June, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stated that Russia will suspend its payments to the Council's budget until the powers of the Russian delegation to the PACE are fully and unconditionally restored.


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