Inese Lībiņa-Egnere, Deputy Speaker of the Saeima and Head of the Latvian delegation to the PACE informed that the like-minded delegations (the Baltic+ group) at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) in a joint letter have invited Emmanuel Macron, the President of the French Republic, the country currently holding the presidency of the Council of Europe, to a meeting to discuss further action following the restoration of Russia's voting rights at the PACE.
The letter has been signed by the assembly members of the Baltic+ group from Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Georgia, Poland, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Denmark and Ukraine.
It was forwarded also to Amélie de Montchalin, Chair of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe; Liliane Maury Pasquier, President of the PACE; and Marija Pejčinović Burić, Secretary General of the Council of Europe.
In the letter, the Baltic+ group underlines the need to restore credibility in the PACE and the Council of Europe, as well as the shared responsibility to closely follow and verify whether Russia abides by the international law, Council of Europe commitments and the relevant PACE resolutions.
The letter also reminds that despite restoration of its voting rights at the PACE Russia continues to disregard the PACE resolutions binding on it. It also emphasises the worsening situation regarding human rights and the rule of law in Russia.
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. By signing a joint statement in June this year, assembly members from Latvia, Lithuania, Georgia, Ukraine, Poland and Slovakia expressed their strong opposition to the PACE decision to restore the voting rights of the Russian delegation in this organisation.
The next session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe will take place in Strasbourg from 30 September to 4 October and it will be attended by the Head of delegation I.Lībiņa-Egnere, Deputy Head Artuss Kaimiņš, and members Boriss Cilevičs, Marija Golubeva, Linda Ozola and Dana Reizniece-Ozola.
PACE is a statutory body of the Council of Europe focusing on the protection of human rights, pluralist democracy and the 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