2021.01.27 11:05

Baltics and Ukraine seek to block Russian delegation at PACE

BNS2021.01.27 11:05

The Baltic states, together with Ukraine and Poland, are seeking to block the Russian delegation's powers at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), with the final vote on the proposal scheduled for Thursday, the Lithuanian parliament office has said.

PACE's winter session usually starts with the confirmation of delegations' powers. The initiative to block the Russians was raised by the Ukrainian delegation, later backed by the Baltic states and Poland.

A report will be prepared at the Assembly's Monitoring Committee, with the final vote scheduled for Thursday.

Blocking a national delegation's powers requires 30 votes of lawmakers from five countries.

Lithuanian MP Emanuelis Zingeris, the chairman of Lithuania's PACE delegation, told BNS it was “a major achievement” that the issues was included into the agenda, but he doubts the initiative will garner enough votes.

Zingeris also sought to have a debate in the Assembly about the detention and incarceration of Alexey Navalny in Russia, but the initiative was rejected.

Russia lost its voting rights and many other powers at PACE after it annexed Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula in 2014. Moscow responded by boycotting the Assembly's sessions.

In June 2019, PACE voted to restore Moscow's voting rights to prevent Russian MPs from leaving the organisation altogether.