The PACE envisaged several minor restrictions for the Russian Federation before the end of 2015 in the proceedings of the adopted document. The Russians will not be eligible to participate in election observation missions, deliver speeches as well as to be appointed PACE representatives in other bodies.
The adopted norm reads as follows: "In addition to these sanctions, the Assembly decided to suspend the right to vote and also to be represented in the governing bodies of the assembly: the Bureau, the Presidential Committee and Standing Committee. However, the Assembly decided to return to the revision of this issue in April."
This amendment was a compromise measure providing that the Assembly should asses at the opening of the next session whether Russia has made some steps to de-escalate the situation in Ukraine, Georgia, and Transnistria, occupied by its troops or pro-Russian forces.
Both the amendment and the final decision were supported by the overwhelming majority of deputies.
After that, Russian delegation head and chairman of the State Duma Committee on Foreign Affairs Aleksey Pushkov said that the Russian delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe exits the PACE and freezes any contacts with the Assembly until the end of the year, Ukrainska Pravda wrote.
"We warned that if the sanctions against the Russian delegation, imposed last April, are renewed, if Russia is stripped of its right to vote and participate in the assembly's leading bodies, we will leave PACE and suspend our membership until the end of 2015," he said.
Following the assembly's vote, Pushkov said that the Russian party refuses to comply with the PACE decision regarding the release of Savchenko as well as retracts its earlier suggestion on PACE visiting Savchenko in custody.
"Any official visits of the PACE delegation, the PACE monitoring mission, activities or contacts of the PACE representatives with Ms. Savchenko are absolutely out of question under such circumstances," he said.
He also said that Moscow admits a possibility of quitting the Council of Europe, meaning the termination of participation in the European Convention on Human Rights.
"I would like to stress that until today Russia has never admitted a possibility of quitting the Council of Europe, but PACE's decision puts such a possibility on the agenda," he said, adding that "the issue of Russia's participation in the Council of Europe will be considered at the end of 2015 depending on the political situation."