Left Menu
Development News Edition

REFILE-Ministers agree way for Russia to rejoin Europe's human rights body

Reuters | Updated: 17-05-2019 19:24 IST | Created: 17-05-2019 18:46 IST
REFILE-Ministers agree way for Russia to rejoin Europe's human rights body
Image Credit: Pixabay

Foreign ministers from the Council of Europe, the continent's chief human rights watchdog, reached an agreement on Friday that opens the way for Russia to return to the organisation, resolving a dispute that began after Moscow's seizure of Crimea.

The agreement follows efforts by France and Germany to find a compromise among the 47-nation group and means Russia will likely take part in a meeting of the council's parliamentary assembly in June when key new appointments will be made. Russia has indicated it will resume payment of its membership dues as a result. It stopped payment nearly two years ago after its voting rights in the council were suspended over its 2014 annexation of Crimea from Ukraine.

Ukraine, supported by six other countries, tried unsuccessfully to block the agreement, which was approved by a qualified majority, diplomats said. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov welcomed the move.

"We do not intend to leave the Council of Europe as some people are trying to suggest by spreading false rumours. And we are not refusing to fulfil a single obligation, including financial ones," Lavrov said in Helsinki, where the meeting was held. Finland currently chairs the council. The Russian spat has prompted questions about the future and durability of the 70-year-old Council of Europe, the guardian of the European Convention on Human Rights and the creator of the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.

It also left a 90 million euro hole in the council's budget since Russia accounts for around 7% of contributions. STAYING IN THE CLUB

France and Germany have been keen to keep Russia inside the council, arguing that if it is outside it is harder for any human rights abuses to be flagged and pursued by the court. Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin boycotted Friday's meeting. Officials said they understood Kiev's frustration, but said the council was not the place to resolve the Crimea issue.

"Ukraine has every reason to demand Crimea's restoration," said Nina Nordstrom, head of human rights policy at the Finnish foreign ministry. "But matters of peace and war between countries are not solved within this organisation." Britain, Poland, Georgia, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania joined Ukraine in opposing the agreement, diplomats said, while 39 countries backed it.

Criticising the agreement on Twitter, Lithuania's Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius said Russia was continuing its "aggression" against Ukraine and said European values meant very little if they were not defended. Officials said Friday's agreement meant Russia would take part in the June assembly in Strasbourg, when a new secretary- general and court judges will be elected, provided some technical rule changes are approved first.

"What happened today is a pre-final step," said Daniel Holtgen, chief spokesman of the organisation. "The parliamentary assembly will have to take into account the decisions of ministers and decide whether or not to change their internal rules so that Russia can take part in these elections in June.

"Russia has said the moment they return to the parliamentary assembly and their rights are restored, they will pay their contributions and their dues, and we have no reason to doubt that statement."



Rethinking Rural Livelihoods in the Times of COVID-19

The reverse migration caused by COVID 19 pandemic has put an additional burden of about one crore people on Indian villages particularly in the states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Bengal and Odisha. Besides increasing the risk of spreading the ...

‘Discounted Deaths’ and COVID 19: Anthropology of Death and Emotions

Death is a social event rather than the mere cessation of biological functions. As seen by anthropologists, death is not just physical but intensely social, cultural, and political....

Indigenous knowledge of communities a must for maximizing impact of community work

Generally, it has been observed that the majority of the academicians in higher education institutions neglect the wisdom of community people and throw their weight around thinking that they know everything and the community knows nothing. ...

In rebuking FBR, Pakistan’s courts take a stand for public health

The system, if implemented effectively, will allow Pakistans revenue service to combat the illicit trade in tobacco products and potentially add hundreds of millions of dollars to the states budget each year. ...


Latest News

Six migrant workers from AP injured in mishap

Hyderabad, May 31 PTI Six migrant workers from AndhraPradesh were injured, three seriously, when the mini truck inwhich they were travelling was rammed by a lorry from the rearin Nalgonda district of Telangana on Sunday, police saidThe min...

BJP questions 'non-adherence' to anti-corona cautions by IAS officer tested +ve in J&K

The BJPs Jammu and Kashmir unit on Sunday questioned the alleged non-adherence of anti-COVID precautions by a senior IAS officer after he tested positive for the disease and demanded cancellation of the annual Durbar move this year amid the...

Sports Highlights

The following are the top stories at 2100 hours SPO-WREST-AWARD Vinesh Phogat to be nominated for Khel Ratna, Sakshi applies for Arjuna By Amanpreet Singh New Delhi, May 31 PTI World Championship bronze medallist Vinesh Phogat is...

Ahmedabad COVID-19 count mounts by 299 to 12,180; 20 more die

The COVID-19 case count inAhmedabad went up by 299 to 12,180 on Sunday while the deathtoll rose by 20 to 842, a Health department official saidA total of 601 patients were discharged from hospitalsafter recovery, the official saidMeanwhile,...

Give Feedback