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Top news

25 June 2019, 18:30

Ukraine’s deputation to PACE tends to hold up its work in the assembly amid body of pro-Russian sentiments

( Information Department of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Secretariat )

 
“The Ukrainian parliamentary delegation to PACE calls on the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine to urgently consider the suspension of Ukraine's participation in PACE in the future,” -- Iryna Herashchenko

"The Ukrainian delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe appeals to the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine with the pressing need to consider the suspension of Ukraine's participation in PACE," the First Deputy Chairperson of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Iryna Herashchenko apprised the public of the results of the urgent meeting of the Permanent Delegation of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine to PACE on June 25 in Strasbourg.

Iryna Herashchenko informed that after carrying the resolution, which in fact abolishes the sanction mechanism against the Russian Federation on June 25, representatives of the Ukrainian delegation to PACE decided to (i) stop participating in the ongoing PACE session, except for issues related to revocation of the Russian delegation’s authority, (ii) appeal to the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine with the urgent issue to consider the suspension of Ukraine's participation in PACE; (iii) appeal to the President of Ukraine and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine to develop a clear and firm position as to further participation of Ukraine in the bodies of the Council of Europe.

The first vice-speaker said that after remonstrating with the Russian delegation’s powers and stopping automatic appointment of a Russian parliamentarian as a PACE’s vice-president, the Ukrainian delegation had left the session hall en masse, overtly purporting not to take part in further debates by the end of the day.

Incidentally, in Strasbourg there was adopted on June 24 the infamous resolution aiming to change the sanction mechanism, thus inviting Russia to return to PACE without any restrictions in its voting rights.

During the debate, members of the Ukrainian delegation emphasized the inadmissibility of the Russian return to the Assembly and drew attention to the crimes and violations of international law committed by the Russian Federation.

In particular, Iryna Herashchenko stressed that some 13 thousand and odd people have been killed and more than 30 thousand injured in the armed aggression against Ukraine since 2014, hundreds of hostages and political prisoners of the Kremlin were illegally detained in the occupied territories of Ukraine and Russia.

The First Deputy Chairperson of the Verkhovna Rada reminded that from the very beginning of the armed aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine, the Assembly has adopted a dozen resolutions, but the Russian Federation has complied with none of them.

Iryna Herashchenko noted that in the said resolutions the Assembly had condemned Russia's failure to comply with the Minsk Agreements, holding the illegal referendum in the  Crimea – and even called on to stop persecution of Crimean Tatars.

The politician also stressed that in the abovementioned resolutions the Assembly had also called on the Russian Federation to stop firing throughout the Donbas, release all hostages and political prisoners, and, in cooperation with the ICRC, to search for missing people.

The representative of the Permanent Delegation of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine to PACE underlined that the number of political prisoners of the Kremlin has today reached a hundred of people, whilst dozens of hostages are still held in the territory of the occupied Donbas in complete isolation, without permission to correspond or at least be visited by ICRC or/and UN representatives.

Iryna Herashchenko reminded that Ukrainian representatives at the humanitarian group in Minsk had repeatedly called on the Russian side to release the prisoners, but each time Russia used to take a negative position.

"I would like to remind you of another resolution – under No.2259 –      commanding Russia to unblock the shipping and free twenty four Ukrainian sailors. However, in spite of the resolution and the well-known decision of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, the ‘Russian Prisonation’ still illegally holds the Ukrainian servicemen," Iryna Herashchenko prompted. - The Russian Federation has not complied with any of the resolutions adopted by the Assembly. Simultaneously, at the cost of destroying the values and principles, and mechanisms of influence of the Council of Europe, under discussion  there came the issue of granting Russia an apparent and plain indulgence  for all the crimes it has committed. On no account shall we vote for such decisions and we call on our colleagues not to engage in pharisaism and protect the fundamental values of the Council of Europe," Iryna Herashchenko highlighted the topic.