The Kremlin does not regard the decision made by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe to let Russia’s delegation take part in the June session of the Assembly as a sign the European countries have been changing their attitude to Crimea’s reunification with Russia, presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said when asked if the PACE resolution permitting the Russian delegation to take part in the June session indicated the European countries were beginning to recognize Crimea’s reunification with Russia.
"It is hardly possible to say that the prevailing point of view has changed. But in this particular case we are determined to stay patient and to systematically explain the Crimean issue until our foreign partners change their mind," Peskov is quoted as saying by TASS.
He pointed out that European officials were beginning to express different points of view on this score. He also recalled that "Crimea is an integral part of Russia and its constituent territory and that no Crimea-related issues were a subject for discussion with any country."
On Monday, PACE adopted a resolution allowing Russia to participate in the assembly’s session in June. The decision was passed by a 118-majority vote with 62 nays and 10 abstentions. Later, on June 25 the participants in the PACE’s summer session challenged Russia’s powers in the organization. Now, in accordance with the organization’s rules a report on restricting powers will be drafted and put to the vote on June 26.
PACE President Liliane Maury Pasquier said the delegation whose powers were in question was free to participate in the organization’s activities but was unable to vote on its issue.
The Russian delegation in April 2014 was stripped of its right to vote, participate in observer missions and hold seats on PACE leadership bodies due to the events in Ukraine and Crimea’s reunification with Russia. In 2015, PACE twice considered the idea of restoring the Russian delegation’s rights only to tighten sanctions in the end. In response Russia refused to participate in PACE activities on such conditions and in 2016-2018 refrained from applying for confirmation of its powers.