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    Council of Europe Parliament Members Oppose Russia’s Withdrawal – Russian Official

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    The first day of the spring session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) ended on a positive note for Russia, as several European members spoke out against the country's expulsion from the organization, the chief Russian delegate to PACE said Tuesday.

    MOSCOW, April 8 (RIA Novosti) – The first day of the spring session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) ended on a positive note for Russia, as several European members spoke out against the country's expulsion from the organization, the chief Russian delegate to PACE said Tuesday.

    “The first working day of the PACE session was successful for Russia. European leftist members will vote against any sanctions. Other factions oppose our expulsion,” Alexei Pushkov said in a statement posted on his Twitter feed.

    The spring session of PACE kicked off on Monday in Strasbourg. The question of Russia’s continued participation in the organization in light of its actions over Crimea was high on the agenda. The final debate on the matter is to be held on Thursday, where Austrian senator Stefan Schennach is to read out a report on the issue.

    Pushkov hopes that Schennach’s report will not be as radical as the initiative tabled earlier by Britain's Robert Walter, who called for the total revocation of the Russian delegation’s power until the end of the year.

    Pushkov also stressed that once the question of terminating Russia’s powers is put to a vote, the Russian delegates will walk out of the assembly immediately.

    “We will not tolerate the expulsion. If the issue is put to vote, we will withdraw from PACE at the same minute. And the assembly will lose a lot if Russia does not hold its seat in the organization,” Puskov said.

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    PACE, Alexei Pushkov
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