The Council of Europe could lift sanctions against Russia, imposed for its aggression against Ukraine. This was said by Secretary General of the Council Thorbjorn Jagland in an interview to the Financial Times.
The reason for lifting the sanctions is the fear that Russia may leave the organization and it would be a blow for the protection of human rights.
Moscow insists on returning her voting rights in the parliamentary Assembly of the Council of which it was deprived of in 2014, after annexation of the Crimea. Jagland believes that if this requirement is not met, that Russia will leave the organization, and it would deprive the 140 million Russians access to the European court of human rights.
“It really is a very, very bad if Russia will leave the (organization – ed.) because the Convention (on human rights – ed.) and the court is very important for Russian citizens. It will be a negative development for Europe, because we will have a Europe without Russia. It will be a big step backwards for Europe,” – said the Secretary General of the Council.
Jagland has denied that the Russian authorities had threatened to leave during private meetings with him.
“Nobody wants to give a signal that we accept the annexation of Crimea. It does not undermine this principle. But we must consider: what are our powers. Our mandate is to protect human rights in Russia and in the Crimea, or anywhere where people live on the continent,” – said the head of the organization.
November 24, standing Committee of the parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe has refused to carry out an unscheduled debate on the lifting of sanctions with Russia.
Read also: Russia is blackmailing CE: return of powers in PACE – it will be the contribution