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A couple of more words about the terribly ill-advised decision of the @coe parliamentary assembly to bend to the blackmail of the Russian government and remove sanctions against #Russia. THREAD
This decision took three years of financial blackmail, rhetorical intimidation and possibly a fair amount of corruption. #Russia succeeded in arm-twisting Europe's most prominent human rights institution to change its own rules the way it wanted them, greatly weakening CoE.
Those who voted for this stunning capitulation should be ashamed of themselves; this includes the German and the French government as well as the Council of Europe secretary general @TJagland who supported the move.
They dangerously undermined the authority of Europe's most important human rights body and therefore the protection of human rights all over Europe, including in Russia. They made a terrible precedent out of the Russian government's blackmail: they showed that it works.
The Russian government - and its agents and allies from Hungary to Italy, from Azerbaijan to Germany - will now try again to bend the rules and to weaken the institution - not just PACE but also, for instance the ECtHR or the Venice Commission - further. Why wouldn't they?
I feel bad for Russian human rights defenders, many of whom supported this terrible decision, in the false hope that with their country remaining member of the Council of Europe they would continue to benefit from the jurisdiction of the European Court of Human Rights.
Perhaps they forgot that the Russian parliament adopted a law in 2015 that allows the country's Constitutional Court to disregard ECtHR judgements, "if they contradict Russian law".
Perhaps they didn't consider that Russia had accumulated a larger backlog of unimplemented ECtHR judgements on serious human rights violations than any other member country of the CoE.
Perhaps they didn't understand that a CoE that bends to such blackmail once will bend to it again and again and again. In short, human rights defenders who supported this decision shot themselves (and their colleagues) in the foot.
In 2017 a shocking corruption scandal concerning dirty money from the Azerbaijani government left PACE and the Council of Europe bruised, but also gave them a chance to purge and cleanse themselves. This chance was squandered yesterday.
It will take a very long time, if it is possible at all, until the Council of Europe can again be the guardian of human rights in Europe that it was once designed to be.
More about this here: esiweb.org/index.php?lang…
PS: this may very well happen. Slutsky, a particularly unpleasant and immoral politician who played a major role in destroying the standards of the Council of Europe and channeling Russian support to the European far right might become PACE vice-speaker
PPS: the vote also highlighted that the new government of #Moldova has to rely on the pro-Putin PSRM to govern, with interior minister Nastase supporting the decision. Cheers to ACUM deputy @MoldovaPolitics who didn't. moldova.org/en/russian-del…
@MoldovaPolitics This is the 2nd major foreign policy failure of the Franco-German tandem in just a week. Both concerned the EU's neighbors (North Macedonia and now Ukraine, but in a broader sense, every country with human rights issues). It is to be hoped that it's not a conscious new policy.
Another addition to this thread: follow @rumeliobserver to learn more about the issue.
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