Russia will not quit the Council of Europe, because this platform is essential for upholding its national interests, Russia’s CoE envoy Ivan Soltanovsky told Izvestia newspaper.
“Right now, Russia’s withdrawal from the Council of Europe is off the table. Our work there has not been interrupted. On the contrary, we are actively promoting the position of building a united Europe without dividing lines. We are actively involved in the work of such bodies as the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers and the European Court of Human Rights. Efforts are underway along various lines, specifically, fighting drug trafficking, terrorism, money laundering, and (supporting) legal cooperation, sports and cultural issues,” Russian diplomat said.
“All crises end sooner or later. We all know perfectly well that it is easy to slam the door (and leave), but it’s far more difficult to return,” Soltanovsky added.
According to the envoy, those forces, which seek to demonize Russia and use all available means for that objective, are currently working overtime in the West. “Unfortunately, the Council of Europe is not immune to this development. We believe that the Russian delegation to PACE was stripped of some of its rights precisely in this context. All that can have far-reaching consequences for the organization, and we have drawn our partners’ attention to that,” the diplomat concluded.