Russia Suspends Its Participation in PACE Until End of YearRussia | January 29, 2015, Thursday // 11:24| views
Russian President Vladimir Putin Photo: EPA
The Russian delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) decided on Wednesday to suspend its participation in the body until the end of the year.
The Russian boycott came after PACE passed a resolution earlier on Wednesday, which deprives Moscow of its voting rights until April 2015, the BBC reports.
Russia was first deprived of its rights to vote and sit in the governing bodies of the Council of Europe in April 2014 due to the annexation of Crimea.
Chief of the Russian delegation Alexei Pushkov said that the extension of the ban would make Moscow consider its withdrawal from the Council of Europe.
Pushkov announced that in the meantime Russia is to concentrate on its participation in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).
The resolution passed by PACE on Wednesday condemns the “illegal annexation of Crimea and its continuing integration into Russia” as well as Moscow's instigation and escalation of violence in Ukraine.
The amendment to the resolution on the powers of the Russian delegation was adopted on Wednesday with 148 votes in favour and 64 against, TASS news agency reports.