Razumkov said this in his interview to Ukrainian television channel ICTV last Sunday. In his opinion, the return of the Russian delegation to PACE is “a very dangerous precedent because the Russian delegation has been returned to this institution actually without fulfilling any resolutions regarding it”. Razumkov believes that “if similar precedents will happen in the future they could lead to a serious imbalance within the Council of Europe and the European community as a whole”.
He went on to say that many international partners agreed with his arguments but “there are representatives of some countries that still advise the Ukrainian delegation to come back to the Parliamentary Assembly”. According to the Ukrainian Speaker, the decision to this effect will be adopted by the Verkhovna Rada but “I believe that the position of the Ukrainian delegation has been absolutely correct at that moment”. And he sees no ground for this position to be changed.
Speaking at the recent European summit of presidents of parliament of the Council of Europe member-countries in Strasbourg, Razumkov called upon the participants in the summit to return to the basic principles and ideas put down by the founders of the Council of Europe, namely: keeping the high standards of human rights, democracy and the supremacy of the law. The Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada stressed Ukraine’s concern over attempts to damage the efficiency of the key bodies of the Council of Europe. “After all, the use of double standards while adopting parliamentary decisions calls in question the values of this organization”, Razumkov said.
Addressing the summit, Speaker Razumkov drew the attention of its participants to the fact that the institution “respons weakly to constant violations of human rights in some countries”. However, Ukraine and other member-states are not going to put up with attempts to discredit the authority of the Council of Europe. “As a protest against the return of the Russian delegation, the refusal of the standing delegation of the Verkhovna Rada to participate in PACE is fully motivated. This decision is our response to the systematic violations of human rights by the aggressor on the temporarily occupied territories”, stressed Razumkov.
During talks with Council of Europe Secretary General Marija Pejčinović Burić, the Ukrainian Speaker said that the return of the delegation of the Russian Federation to PACE remained unacceptable for Ukraine. “We are ready for a dialog but we are not ready for a compromise with our conscience, territorial integrity and dignity of people”, Razumkov stressed.
In April 2014, after Russia’s occupation of the Crimea, the Assembly decided to suspend the Russian delegation's voting rights as well as the right of Russian members to be represented in the Assembly's leading bodies and to participate in election observation missions. In return, Russia stopped paying member dues since June 2017. Many members of PACE and politicians referred to such action of Russia as blackmail.
On June 25, 2019, the Parliamentary Assembly voted to revoke sanctions against the Russian delegation. As a result, the delegation of the Russian Federation has returned to PACE with its full rights. In protest against such a decision of the Assembly, the delegations of Estonia, Georgia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia and Ukraine left the summer session of PACE.
The newspaper Holos Ukrainy