Council of Europe suspends Russia's representative rights
The Council of Europe (CoE) has suspended Russian Federation representative rights, following Thursday's invasion of Ukraine.
The CoE said on its website that: "In line with the Statute of the Council of Europe, the Committee of Ministers has today decided to suspend the Russian Federation from its rights of representation in the Committee of Ministers, and in the Parliamentary Assembly, with immediate effect as a result of the Russian Federation's armed attack on Ukraine."
Russia remains a CoE member state and as such is party to relevant conventions, including the European Convention on Human Rights, where a Russian judge sits.
The suspension is temporary and "channels of communication" remain open, the CoE says.
The full CoE statement is here.
Russia's voting rights were temporarily suspended between 2014 and 2018 following its annexation of Crimea, from Ukraine.
The CoE was founded in 1949 and has 47 member states. It is an entirely separate institution from the EU, which it predates, though all EU27 states are members of the CoE as well. Its main funciton is to uphold human rights, democracy and the rule of law in Europe.
The PACE is its parliamentary arm, consisting of 324 members drawn from the national parliaments of its member states.
The PACE usually convenes four times a year, for week-long plenary sessions in Strasbourg, France.
Russia has also been expelled from this year's Eurovision Song Contest and has been barred from hosting this year's UEFA Champion's League final, which has been relocated to Paris, and from hosting this year's Formula One Grand Prix in Sochi, which has been canceled.
Russian authorities meanwhile have blocked access to websites which have been reporting Thursday's invasion as it happened, including ERR's Russian-language portal, and announced Friday that it would be restricting access to the website of social media giant Facebook.
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Editor: Andrew Whyte