Autumn Session of the PACE, held in Strasbourg this week, is to draw the attention of the majority of member states to the problems caused by Russia.
Head of the Estonian delegation, member of the Riigikogu (Parliament of Estonia) Maria Jufereva-Skuratovski considers it important that the dialogue continues and Estonia participates in the Assembly. “In this complicated situation, Estonia has to take part in the dialogue and not boycott the work of the Assembly.”
Jufereva-Skuratovski said that the recent issue of restoring Russia’s rights was not on PACE’s agenda this time, but the main task of the Estonian delegation in Strasbourg was to keep an eye on and draw the attention of other member states to the consequences of Russia’s political activities.
“Russia’s rights in the Assembly were restored this summer on certain conditions, but we are not satisfied with it, because they break international agreements. We wish to cooperate with all member states who understand that for the restoration of full voting rights, Russia has to meet all requirements set to it,” Jufereva-Skuratovski said.
Member of the delegation Eerik-Niiles Kross added that the key activity at this session would be making the large Western countries aware of the seriousness of the crisis in PACE. “We will also continue to discuss with the like-minded countries the joint future actions that could restore PACE’s authority in longer perspective.”
“At the critical times for the Council of Europe, it is important for the Estonian delegation to be present and actively ask also sharp questions,” member of the Estonian delegation Indrek Saar said. “We and the countries that share our views have to do our best to ensure that this major organisation would not lose its purpose to stand for democracy, human rights and the rule of law.”
Today, French Secretary of State for European Affairs Amelie de Montchalin will make a speech at the session. Tomorrow, President of France Emmanuel Macron will address PACE and give an overview of the activities of France during its Presidency.
The Autumn Session of PACE will last until Friday. The Assembly will focus on the protection of whistleblowers and the victims of terrorism. It will also discuss reports on climate refugees and labour migration in Eastern Europe, and on obstetrical and gynaecological violence.
Estonia became a member of the Council of Europe in 1993. Our country is represented in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe by the delegation appointed by the Riigikogu.
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