21.03.17 20:32

PACE members shocked by Agramunt's visit to Assad at Russia invitation, - MP Ariev

Ukraine's envoy to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe Volodymyr Ariev says the delegations of other countries are bewildered by the visit of PACE President Pedro Agramunt to Syria.

Censor.NET reports referring to Ariev's Facebook page.

Read more: Ukraine initiates PACE President Agramunt's early dismissal, - MP Iryna Herashchenko

"Since my arrival at a PACE committee meeting in Paris, I've been talking with colleagues from other delegations about the visit of the PACE president to Bashar Assad at the invitation of Russian lawmakers. To say that the colleagues are surprised is to say nothing: they are shocked!" he wrote.

"And obviously, those who traveled [to Syria - ed.] will have to answer a lot of unpleasant questions after they return. Since visits to dictators undermine the very essence of the Council of Europe as a place established to support democracy and human rights rather than politicians covered in blood from head to toe," Ariev stressed.

Read more: Russia demanded change to PACE rules to regain voting rights, - Ariev

On April 10, 2014, Russia's delegation to PACE was stripped of the right to vote because of the occupation of Crimea and aggression in the Donbas.

In protest, Moscow said it was suspending its contacts with PACE until the end of 2015.

In January 2016, Russia refused to apply for regaining its voting rights.

This year, the State Duma of the Russian Federation did not send a list of its representatives to PACE.

Read more: Over 60 PACE delegates voted against Russian delegation's credentials restoration, Ukrainian MP Ariev says

On Oct. 10, 2016, speaking at the PACE autumn session, Agramunt said the assembly should do its best for Russia's delegation to regain its voting rights.

On Oct. 11, 2016, Ukraine's First Vice Speaker Iryna Herashchenko said the Ukrainian delegation to PACE was going to initiate early dismissal of Pedro Agramunt.
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