Russia is considering the possibility of withdrawing from the Council of Europe, Russian Federation Council (upper house of parliament) Speaker Valentina Matviyenko said at a meeting with President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) Liliane Maury Pasquier on Thursday, TASS reports.
"I tell you frankly, we are close to a decision on pulling out of the Council of Europe," Matviyenko said, addressing Maury Pasquier. "If the Council of Europe is ready to accept it, if it does not value Russia’s membership, then so be it," she added.
In her opinion, "it is no use dragging this process out" because the situation is at a standstill despite several years of negotiations and Russia’s efforts to clarify things.
According the Russian senate speaker, Moscow is interested in strengthening the Council of Europe as "a universal European organization" with unique mechanisms, which would ensure "a united humanitarian and legal space."
"At the same time, we consider that the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe is going through a crisis," she went on to say. "We believe that PACE should ensure equal rights and opportunities for all the 47 member states of the Council of Europe," Matviyenko added.