The leaders of the Council of Europe announced that “due to Russia’s unjustified and unprovoked aggression against Ukraine”, the procedure of excluding the Russian Federation from the Council of Europe had been initiated, after Russia had earlier announced that it had made “a voluntary, balanced and thoughtful decision” to withdraw from the organisation.
“Tonight, the Parliamentary Assembly unanimously concluded that the Russian Federation should no longer be a member state of the Council of Europe. The Committee of Ministers will hold an extraordinary session in the light of the information from the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the decision of the Russian leadership to withdraw from the Council of Europe”, reads the statement from Strasbourg.
In a joint statement, Chairman of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe Luigi Di Mayo, President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe Tini Cox and Secretary General of the Council of Europe Marija Pejčinović Burić said that by their actions in Ukraine, the Russian authorities are depriving the Russian people of the benefits of membership in the Council of Europe, as the most advanced system of human rights protection in the world, including the jurisdiction of the European Court of Human Rights.
Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs had announced earlier that Russia has formally left the Council of Europe, but that it remains open for cooperation with the members of that organization, reported TASS.