Council of Europe preparing alternative budget in event of Russia's exclusion

Council of Europe preparing alternative budget in event of Russia's exclusion

The Council of Europe will discuss on Friday the possibility of financing and functioning of the organization if the representation rights of Russia are suspended.

Secretary General of the Council of Europe Thorbjorn Jagland said this on Thursday, according to an Ukrinform correspondent in Strasbourg.

"If it becomes clear that Russia is out [of the Council of Europe], I will immediately present a budget based on the fact that we do not have that money. I will inform the Committee of Ministers about that on Friday," he said. 

At the end of the week, Jagland will also inform the Committee of Ministers about his view on article 9 of the Statute, which states that if a member state fails to pay, the Committee of Ministers may apply article 9, which would mean suspension of the representation rights.

"There is a rule - I also said this yesterday - that the Committee of Ministers established: if a member state fails to pay for two years, article 9 applies. Two years will be in June next year. My view is that the Committee of Ministers not only may apply article 9, it must apply article 9, because it will be completely intolerable to have a member state that does not pay but is still here - that is half in, half out," Jagland said.

In 2014, after the start of aggression against Ukraine, the Council of Europe imposed sanctions on the Russian delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, including deprivation of the right to vote.

Russia has ceased to pay contributions to the organization's budget since then.

As part of the autumn session of the PACE, which is being held in Strasbourg on October 8-12, Jagland will answer questions from parliamentarians on Thursday.


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