Council of Europe to allow Russia to vote again

Council of Europe to allow Russia to vote again
  • Clock-gray 17:45
  • calendar-gray 17 May 2019

The Council of Europe adopted a declaration Friday that allows Russia to start voting again at the continent's main human rights body following a spat related to its annexation of the Crimea peninsula from Ukraine in 2014, ONAreports citing Associated Press.

Foreign ministers from the council's 47 member states voted overwhelmingly to support a declaration that says that all members should be "entitled to participate" in the council's two main organs "on an equal basis."

Russia will now have to accredit a delegation to the Council of Europe before it can start voting on motions.

Senior Russian officials have threatened to pull out of the Council of Europe altogether. Such a move would mean that ordinary Russians would lose access to the European Court of Human Rights, which has become an important tool for those who have lost faith in Russian courts.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov welcomed the declaration and reaffirmed Russia's commitments including paying the fees. Lavrov said Russia values "the positive contribution" that the Council of Europe has made to resolving humanitarian issues as well as improving Russia's justice system.

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