Russia paid membership in PACE in spite of the threats to refuse contributions

Plenary session of the parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE)

Photo: Mikhail Japaridze/TASS

Russia has fully paid the fee for the participation in the structures of the Council of Europe (COE), including PACE, learned to RBC. The funds were listed on time, although in January Moscow has threatened to cut funding to the organisation

Full payment

Russia had paid a fee for participation in the COE structures, including the parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) in 2016. About it RBC have informed the press-Secretary of the Council of Europe Tatiana Baeva. According to her, the money was transferred before June 30, 2016, as requested by the rules of the organization. This means that Russia has avoided penalties due for late payments.

In January 2016, the former at that time speaker of the state Duma Sergei Naryshkin said that in February, Russia will transfer in CE, only a third of the required amount of contributions, and will continue to act according to the situation. Although Russia paid the whole fee in the beginning of the year, he explained.

The reason for this position of Moscow became the sanctions imposed on the Russian delegation in PACE. They were introduced in 2014 after the annexation of Crimea: Russians deprived of voting rights, opportunities to participate in the work of the statutory bodies and the monitoring of elections. At the first session in January of 2015, the Russian delegation was present, but left Strasbourg after sanctions were extended. From participating in PACE winter session in 2016, Russia has refused, without receiving the guarantees of the restoration of the powers.

Contribution Naryshkin was estimated at about €32 million, the same amount listed in the profile of the country on the website of the COE. Baeva did not name the amount of the contribution, referring to the resolution following the meeting of the Committee of Ministers on 25 November 2015, which has a different contribution amount from Russia — €27.1 million.

According to her, the difference is due to the fact that the resolution fixed the contributions to the total budget, however, the participating countries allocate extra funds intended for the implementation of additional agreements. They are optional to sign and ratify, but if it happened, members of the Council of Europe are obliged to Finance the work in their framework.

Russia, along with France, Germany, Italy, UK and Turkey is one of the largest donors to the COE. The share of each of these States accounts for up to 10% of the total budget of the organization, which in 2016 up to €442 million

How States pay for the work of the Council of Europe

Contributions to the CE is determined on the basis of their gross national product and population. In addition to the calculation formula there are a few rules, including the minimum and maximum contributions to the regular budget, as well as the parity of the contributions of major donors.

The CE regulations, each country-member must pay at least one third of its obligatory contribution in the first two months of the year. The remainder of the Deposit must be paid on completion of the first six months of the year. After six months on the outstanding balance of the Deposit accrue interest of 0.5% per month for the next six months and 1% per month after that, says Baev.

Financial trap

At the end of last year, Russia worked through the technical capabilities of the decision on non-payment of an instalment in the Council of Europe, said earlier RBC Chairman of the international Committee in the previous convocation of the Duma Alexei Pushkov. The incumbent at the time the Chairman of the Committee on CIS Affairs Leonid Slutsky explained that technically pay a portion of the contribution in the Council of Europe will be difficult, as it is indivisible, goes to all four of the Institute COE (Committee of Ministers, Council of Europe, Congress of local and regional authorities and the European court of human rights).

The current Chairman of the Committee on CIS Affairs Leonid Kalashnikov, part of the sixth convocation of the international Committee, believes that now “principle must never pay” because of the PACE the Russian delegation “to do nothing”. “There’s all the time one of the curses in the address of Russia. Convinced of the PACE against Russia will take a new resolution”, — he said RBC. The MP understands that not to pay the fee in the PACE impossible. “We put ourselves into such a financial trap from which now can’t get out”, he concluded.

Another review of the credentials of the Russian delegation to be held at the forthcoming session in January 2017. The new speaker of the state Duma Vyacheslav Volodin adheres to the same position on Russia’s participation in PACE that its predecessor Naryshkin. In October, he said that the Russian delegation will return to the organization only in case of restoration of its voting rights. Now comes the formation of the Russian delegation to PACE, said RBC Slutsky, who in the new convocation of the Duma, heads the international Committee.

Go delegation to Strasbourg or not, is still unknown, said RBC’s first Deputy Slutsky Committee Svetlana Zhurova. She does not have much illusions about the restoration of the powers of Russia. In particular, it indicates approved on 23 November by the European Parliament resolution, which Moscow accused of “hostile propaganda”.

A significant expenditure of Russia to participate in the structures THAT “look weird, because its contributions are at the level of the leading European donors, but the country is constantly criticized,” says political analyst, former PACE member Alexander Fomenko. But the authorities continue to participate in the Council of Europe and PACE, because I want to support a platform for dialogue with the European Parliament, suggested the expert.

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