Ukrainian MPs made conflicting statements about the participation of the country's delegation in the autumn session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE).
So, the head of the Verkhovna Rada committee on foreign policy and interparliamentary cooperation Bogdan Yaremenko said that the Ukrainian delegation will not participate in the meetings that begin on September 30 in Strasbourg.
“Having no other opportunity to respond to violations by this organization of its own principles and faced with overt neglect of (its) interests, Ukraine will refrain from sending its delegation to the next session,” he wrote on his Facebook.
Meanwhile, Verkhovna Rada deputy Aleksey Goncharenko actually denied the statement of Yaremenko. He said that Ukrainians will participate in the work of the Parliamentary Assembly, but as part of the old delegation.
“Ukraine does not submit a new delegation to the next PACE session, but representatives of the old delegation are coming from Ukraine to represent the interests of our country,” he said on his Facebook.
According to Goncharenko, he will personally be present at the autumn session. “Our country should be represented in PACE and should voice our position,” he said.
It should be noted that both deputies of the Verkhovna Rada represent different political forces. Yaremenko is a member of the Servant of the People party, which supports the country's president, Vladimir Zelensky. Goncharenko is part of the "European Solidarity", which unites supporters of the former president of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko.
Recall that in April 2014, the Russian delegation to PACE was deprived of the right to vote, removed from work in governing bodies and in observer missions of the Parliamentary Assembly. The organization associated the relevant decision with the events in Ukraine and the reunification of Crimea with Russia. In response, Moscow did not participate in PACE meetings and did not send documents for accreditation to participate in these events, and also suspended the transfer of contributions.
On June 26, 2019, the powers of the Russians were restored in full. 116 members of the Parliamentary Assembly voted for the resolution, which actually returned Russia to PACE, 62 opposed, 15 abstained.
On September 17, it was reported that Kiev had formed a new delegation to participate in the work of the Parliamentary Assembly. It included 12 deputies of the Verkhovna Rada, most of which represent the party "Servant of the people." The representative of this political force, Elizaveta Yasko, led the Ukrainian delegation.
The deputy herself said on her Facebook that the Verkhovna Rada decided not to accredit a new delegation before the upcoming session. According to her, this position is approved by all factions.
“He wants to be asked to return”
The decision of the new Ukrainian delegation not to take part in the PACE autumn session, which Yaremenko reported, was quite unexpected, experts say.
- Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada Committee on Foreign Policy Bogdan Yaremenko
- © @ bohdan.yaremenko
The fact is that in October the Parliamentary Assembly should vote for a draft resolution on the situation of Crimean Tatars in Russia. A number of amendments to the document were prepared by representatives of the Verkhovna Rada.
Bezpalko suggested that the refusal of the Ukrainian delegation to participate in the autumn session of PACE is related to the possible composition of the Russian delegation.
“Russia can bring Crimean Tatars to Strasbourg. Naturally, in this case, it will be very difficult for Ukraine to prove that this people is discriminated against and prosecuted in Crimea, ”the expert said.
In turn, Bondarenko, believes that by refusing to participate in the next meetings of the Parliamentary Assembly, Ukraine is responding to the return of the Russian delegation to the organization.
“This is the only explanation for the actions of Kiev. Ukraine wants to be asked to return. Thus, she will demonstrate that the issue of the Crimean Tatars cannot be resolved without her participation, ”the expert believes.
At the same time, Bondarenko believes that Ukraine’s secession from PACE is unlikely.
“And so there is a paradoxical situation. For five years, the Ukrainian authorities have said that Russia needs to be politically isolated. But as a result, it turns out that Ukraine isolates itself, ”the expert concluded.