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PACE maintains sanctions against Russia, but leaves window open for dialogue, so that it does not “slam the door”

The resolution "Regarding the possibility of depriving the Russian delegation of powers" approved by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe contains harsh criticism of Russia.

The document confirming all restrictions imposed by the PACE against the representatives of the Russian Federation up to deprivation of the right to vote was supported by 128 deputies, 11 voted negatively, Joinfo.ua reports.

By its decision the PACE recognized the presence of regular units of the Russian army in the Donbas and named ATO zone "the area under the control of pro-Russian separatists and Russian troops."

The Parliamentary Assembly condemned the attacks on Debaltseve, Marinka, Mariupol and blamed the Russian Federation of it, demanded to withdraw all troops from the territory of Ukraine and liberate the prisoners held in the territory of the Russian Federation.

However, the PACE decided not to remove the Russian delegation in order to motivate "the possibility for dialogue." There is a fear that Russia could use tougher sanctions not only to stop its work in PACE, but also to withdraw the Council of Europe.

In the case of exclusion of the Russian Federation or its withdrawal, the Council of Europe would have lost the Russian financing, and Strasbourg – the ability to affect the Russian authorities, including the decisions of the ECHR on a number of lawsuits against Ukraine concerning the annexation of Crimea.