The Council of Europe will die without Russia’s membership

Summary

In a few weeks, two years will have passed since Russia stopped paying its annual contributions to the Council of Europe. Moscow is not concerned with this situation and is ready to leave the organisation. The Council of Europe will ultimately die without Russia.

If Russia leaves, the European Court of Human Rights will bear the greatest negative consequences as it will lose the largest human-rights ‘market’. This will result in a strong blow to the Council of Europe’s prestige.

Disproof

This message is consistent with the pro-Kremlin narrative about the imminent collapse of Western and European institutions. Examples of the cases following this narrative include: a dying EU promotes an anti-Russian, anti-democratic agenda and NATO is useless.

After the annexation of Crimea in 2014, Russia's voting rights in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) were suspended. In protest, Russia stopped paying its annual contributions to the Council of Europe (CoE) in June 2017.

After two years of non-payment of its contributions, that is from June 2019, Russia could be formally excluded from the CoE through a decision of its Committee of Ministers. It could also opt to leave.

Though Russia's withdrawal would affect the reputations of both the CoE and Russia, there is no good reason to believe that this development would result in the death of the organisation. The Council of Europe includes 47 member states with approximately 820 million citizens. The CoE has functioned previously without Russia as a member state since its establishment in 1949 until 1996 when Russia joined.

The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) is one of the institutions which safeguard human rights in Europe. Even though Russia has the biggest number of cases pending in the Court, the number of cases has nothing to do with the institution's prestige. If Russia was to leave the organisation, Russian citizens would be deprived of the chance to defend their rights at the ECtHR.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 149
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 09/05/2019
  • Language/target audience: Belarus
  • Country: Europe, Russia
  • Keywords: Council of Europe, Anti-Russian, Conspiracy
  • Outlet: Sputnik Belarus
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There is no Russian aggression, there is a civil conflict in Eastern Ukraine

There are objective and subjective reasons why civil war in the East of Ukraine is not resolved. In part because the Ukrainian regime cannot confess to this crime. The regime that will take responsibility for the beginning, development, and continuation of the civil conflict in the East must be held responsible in the court. The Ukrainians invented a beautiful tale about intervention, about the aggressor, but in fact, they were telling us only a quarter of the truth.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Ukraine and the war in Ukraine.

Russia provoked the war in Eastern Ukraine.

The European Parliament does not have real powers, EU bureaucrats decide

The European Parliament does not have real powers and opportunities to influence the decisions taken by bureaucrats and pragmatic politicians.

Disproof

This claim misrepresents the competences of the European Parliament and is consistent with a recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about a dysfunctional EU governed by the bureaucrats and elites who are out of touch with the needs of the people. See an earlier case about Brussels bureaucrats.

The European Commission cannot adopt new legislation or amend existing EU legislation without consent from the Council of the EU and the European Parliament. The European Parliament is directly elected by the EU’s population. It approves and removes the president of the European Commission. The European Parliament also has the power to censure the Commission with a vote of two-thirds of its members, thereby forcing the Commission to resign.

NATO and the US do not fund any programs in Georgia

NATO and the US do not fund any programs in Georgia. Georgia finances 100% of the programs itself.

Disproof

According to the “Security Assistance Monitor of the Center for International Policy”, in 2015-2019, the US allocated financial assistance to Georgia in the military field amounted to 167 million US dollars. In 2019 US allocated 35 million US dollars.

The US funds Coalition Readiness Support Programsupporting the participation of Georgian troops in Peacekeeping Mission in Afghanistan - ”Resolute Support Mission”. Military exercises play the most important role in the training of Georgian soldiers and upgrading their qualification. Georgia hosts various military exercises, including “Noble Partner” and “Agile Spirit”, organized by the USA and its partners.