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Armenian MPs Abstained From Vote During PACE Resolution Against Russia

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) has decided to ratify the credentials of the Russian delegation, citing the need to “foster dialogue”, but at the same time has decided to suspend its voting rights and its right to be represented in the Assembly’s leading bodies “as a clear expression of condemnation of continuing grave violations of international law in respect of Ukraine” by Russia.

The Assembly said it would return to this issue at its April 2015 part-session and would consider re-instating these two rights “if Russia has made marked and measurable progress towards implementing the demands of the Assembly”.

In addition, the Assembly also suspended, for the duration of the Assembly’s 2015 session, the right of its Russian members to be appointed as a rapporteur, to observe elections or to represent the Assembly in other Council of Europe or external bodies.

In its resolution, the Assembly said it: “condemns the illegal annexation of Crimea and its continuing integration into the Russian Federation”. It also condemned Russia’s role in “instigating and escalating developments in Ukraine, including with arms supplies to insurgent forces and covert military action by Russian troops inside eastern Ukraine.”

The resolution was voted for by 160 MPs, 42 against, and 11 abstained. Members of the Armenian delegation, Republican Party MPs Hermine Naghdalyan and Naira Karapetyan, Rule of Law Party MP Mher Shahgeldyan, were among the ones who abstained. The entire delegation of Azerbaijan and Serbia voted against the resolution.