The delegation of Latvia in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) strongly opposes PACE's decision to restore the voting rights of the Russian delegation in the organisation.
The statement signed by Latvian delegation on Wednesday, 26 June reads: "Restoration of the Russian delegation's voting rights runs counter to the core values of the Council of Europe and its Statute. This step sends a wrong signal to a country that has resorted to armed aggression and the use of chemical weapons, and it does not promote, but rather seeks to destabilise democracy throughout Europe."
At a plenary session of PACE in the French city of Strasbourg, parliamentarians from Estonia, Georgia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia and Ukraine also concurred with the statement.
According to the statement, the future of the Council of Europe is under threat because it is losing the trust of the people it stands to protect.
In a protest against the decision, members of the said delegations left the PACE session to consult their parliaments and governments about further joint actions in the Council of Europe.
Russia's voting rights on the Council were suspended in response to the illegal annexation of Crimea and the unlawful warfare in East Ukraine in 2014.
PACE is a statutory body of the Council of Europe focusing on the protection of human rights, pluralist democracy and rule of law, promotion of the understanding and development of European cultural identity and diversity, and seeking solutions to the problems facing European society, as well as strengthening democratic stability in Europe by supporting political, legislative and constitutional reforms.
Saeima Press Service