The State Duma Committee on International Affairs unanimously recommended for adoption the draft law “On the termination of international treaties of the Council of Europe with respect to the Russian Federation”, introduced by the President of the Russian Federation. We are talking about withdrawing from the Charter of the Council of Europe, the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and various protocols to them.
The State Duma Committee on International Affairs made the most important decisions in order to protect the sovereignty and national interests of Russia, said its chairman Leonid Slutsky.
“The bill consolidates the legal aspect of the decision to terminate Russia’s membership in the Council of Europe dated March 16, 2022, which became the only possible one given the monstrous double standards, one-sided approaches and Russophobia that have prevailed in recent years in international institutions in Strasbourg. A break with the once most broad-ranging European organization was brewing as it became an obedient instrument of the collective West. The unifying principles laid down in the Charter of the Council of Europe began to erode in favor of the European Union and NATO, turning the standards of the Council of Europe into the notorious “order based on rules” and promoting values alien to Russia,” he noted.
He stressed that the termination of the ECHR, in particular, would not adversely affect the observance of human rights in Russia. Over the 26 years of Russia’s membership in the Council of Europe, all of its norms have been implemented in national legislation, are in force and will continue to be in force. The Russian Constitution, moreover, provides for a wider range of guarantees of rights and freedoms than the ECHR.
The committee also recommended that the Group of States against Corruption (GRECO) Criminal Law Convention on Corruption be denounced. This is also connected with another discriminatory decision of the Council of Europe to exclude Russia from GRECO on the condition that Strasbourg retains monitoring of the fulfillment of obligations under the Convention. At the same time, our country was deprived of the opportunity to participate in the discussion and adoption of reports, as well as the right to vote in general. That is, they tried to turn Russia from a subject of agreements into an object of assessment, moreover, biased and biased in advance. Naturally, such conditions are simply unacceptable for us.
“The denunciation of the Convention will not affect the fight against corruption in Russia. Its norms are already fully reflected in modern Russian legislation. In addition, our country continues to participate in other anti-corruption international agreements, including the UN Convention against Corruption”, Slutsky said.
According to the press service of the committee, one bill proposes to denounce 21 documents, including the European Charter of Local Self-Government of October 15, 1985 and the European Social Charter (revised) of May 3, 1996. Several protocols will also be terminated. The State Duma plans to consider the initiative on February 16. The second bill proposes to denounce the Criminal Law Convention on Corruption.
The Convention was signed on behalf of the Russian Federation in Strasbourg on January 27, 1999. The Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe previously decided to terminate the full membership of the Russian Federation in the Group of States against Corruption (GRECO), which monitors the implementation of the convention by the contracting parties. The developers of the document point out that due to the unacceptability of such conditions for Russia, it is proposed to denounce the convention and terminate Russia’s participation in GRECO.
“The Council of Europe, which has become the waiting room of the European Union, has taken another discriminatory decision against Russia,” Slutsky said. – Our country was expelled from GRECO, but at the same time, Strasbourg intended to maintain legal mechanisms for influencing Moscow without the participation of the Russian side. That is, from a subject of agreements, Russia was turned into an object of assessment, moreover, biased and biased in advance. The norms of the convention are fully implemented in modern Russian legislation. In addition, Russia continues to participate in other anti-corruption international agreements, including the UN Convention against Corruption and others.”
The Committee suggested that the State Duma consider these issues at the plenary sessions on 16 and 15 February.