Moscow may soon leave the Council of Europe, creating a “new dividing line” on the continent by this step.
It's already two years since Russia stopped paying its dues in protest at the suspension of its voting rights in the parliamentary assembly in 2014 and 2015. After two years of non-payment, a council member can be suspended and eventually expelled.
After Moscow’s annexation of Crimea from Ukraine, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe deprived the Russian delegation of voting and other rights.
“The Council of Europe is the only place where Russia is connected to Europe in a binding judicial way,” Mr Jagland said. “We will see a different Russia. We will have a new dividing line in Europe. “We should not underestimate the negative consequences, especially if we combine it with Brexit for the EU. We could have two developments that could really shake up Europe.”
Moscow would take part in the election only if all its rights were restored, if not the Russian delegation will not take part in the election. So, this brings into question the overall necessity of Russia's participation in this organization.