I miss the Russian colleagues in the Assembly -
We should talk more together and less about each other
As far as I understand the reconsideration of the sanctions towards the Russian delegation is probably but not necessary, will be included into the final agenda?
No. Because the idea in the resolution the PACE passed in January, to foresee the reconsiderations of the sanctions of the PACE (denying the voting rights of the Russian delegation) , was formulated in a conditional way: Only when there would be any progress in the way Russia respects the values and the decisions of the PACE with respect to Crimea and the southeast of Ukraine, the PACE will reconsider them. There is obviously no progress, so there will this week also not be any reconsideration. In an actual debate instead we will have a general discussion on the political situation in Ukraine.
Do you expect sanctions to be prolonged, as Russia did not implemented the demands of the Assembly?
The sanctions will go on and in in June we will have to come back – also following the resolution decided last January – to the whole credentials of the Russian delegation. I am afraid that that will be a very important signal by the Assembly and I am afraid that it will be a very negative one, because nothing positive is to be seen concerning Russia’s way to handle the crises in Ukraine southeast and the Ukraine peninsula of Crimea. The impact of the June decision will be in time limited to the end of December but I am afraid that it will influence also the next decisions, which will be taken about the faith of the Russian delegation in the PACE in January 2016.
How do you see the discussion on Ukraine this time?
The critics towards Ukraine will increase. We have now also the report on the way the Kiev authorities investigated the incidents on Maidan in the early weeks and months of 2015 and the report is very critical. Also the political murders of Ukrainian nationalists in the Donbas will be raised. But the debate will be the expression of a fundamental deficit, because the view of those in the Donbas who do not share the point of view of the Kiev government are missing. We should talk more together and less about each other. That is why and although I often disagree with its conclusion and discourse, I miss the Russian colleagues in the Assembly. We need all to become wiser, alone both of us cannot act on the level we need to act.
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