00:51 GMT +318 February 2018
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    Moscow Will Ignore Payments to PACE Unless Russia's Stance Reinstated - Lawmaker

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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Russia will continue dialogue with the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), but Moscow will not make contributions to the PACE unless the Russian national delegation's right to participate in the decision-making process is restored, State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin said Wednesday.

    "We have never stopped dialogue, we maintain it through different formats, and the [PACE] Presidential Committee is only one of them. Of course, we will use the full range of such communications… But since we do not participate in decision-making and we do not have such an opportunity, we consider it correct not to pay a contribution… We can talk, we can discuss, but the national delegation should participate in decision-making. There is no such possibility," Volodin told reporters.

    The Russian delegation has not participated in the work of the PACE since 2015, when the Assembly adopted a resolution depriving Russia of its right to vote, participate in the work of PACE statutory bodies and observe elections following a 2014 referendum in Crimea, which led to the peninsula's reunification with Russia.

    Moscow stated that it would resume its work within PACE only on condition that it would have all the rights of other national delegations.

    In January, newly-elected PACE Michele Nicoletti expressed regret over Russia’s decision not to send its delegation to the 2018 PACE winter session.

    In June, the Russian Foreign Ministry announced that it would suspend its financial payments to PACE until the Russian delegation's rights in the organization were completely restored. At the same time, Moscow stated that it would continue to fulfill its obligations under the resolutions of the Council.

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    cooperation, resolution, authority, contribution, payment, Russian State Duma, PACE, Michele Nicoletti, Vyacheslav Volodin, Europe, Russia
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