President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) Anne Brasseur is not ruling out that Russia may be deprived of membership in the Council of Europe because of the aggression against Ukraine, Ukrinform reports.
"Anything can happen. It is difficult to say how far the current crisis in relations between Russia and Europe will go. We found Moscow's actions inadmissible also in 2008, when Russian troops entered Georgia, but then Russia did not go too far," Brasseur said.
She added that the sides now "are important to continue to talk to each other, and PACE is a convenient structure for dialogue."
Brasseur also noted that Crimea's accession to Russia "was a violation of the Constitution and international law, including the Budapest agreements signed by Russia." She recalled that the Venice Commission does not recognize the legitimacy of the Crimean referendum.
"The PACE received proposals to deprive Russia of voting rights and powers in the Assembly. It is hard to say which of these sanction measures will be approved," Brasseur noted, when asked what Russia should expect at PACE session in April.
As reported, in early April, PACE will hold its session to discuss European attitudes toward the Russian annexation of Crimea. Recently, a Kommersant source in the government said Russia may voluntarily suspend its participation in the organization if the Assembly decides to vote to deprive Russia of the voting right or accreditation. At the same time, sources in the Russian political circles point out that Russia's withdrawal from the Council of Europe is not yet discussed for Moscow does not want to lose a convenient platform for dialogue with Europe.