Stella Kyriakides from Cyprus was elected as the new head of the PACE, with the great victory of the Lithuanian Emanuelis Zingeris, who was building his campaign against the "Russian threat". After this defeat, the delegates from Lithuania and Ukraine did not conceal their fears that the Russian delegation would triumphantly return to the meeting hall "without returning the Crimea and the Donbass." Are they right?
The President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe elected MP from the Republic of Cyprus Stella Kyriakides. The fight was stubborn and spanned several rounds.
Cypriots eventually supported 217 delegates against 84 votes from its rival - Lithuanian MP Emanuelis Zingeris. A member of the Lithuanian delegation, Kestutis Masiulis, clarified that the fate of the Russian delegation was in the center of pre-election disputes, which was, in fact, squeezed out of PACE after 2014.
"Those states that want to return Russia, support the representative of Cyprus. Behind Emanuelis are those countries that believe that Russia can not be returned, because it has not left the occupied territories of Donbass, - quotes Masulis portal Delfi. - Emanuelis clearly expressed that if he is chairman, he will do everything that Russia is not here until she fulfills the requirements. "
Кириакидес - the former doctor, on education the children's psychologist, known on Cyprus the human rights activist. Contrary to the assurances of Lithuanian deputies, its attitude towards Russia is not obvious. For example, when a call to abolish anti-Russian sanctions was put in motion in the Cyprus parliament a year ago, MP Kyriakides abstained.
Nevertheless, it was for this situation that those deputies who were not categorically displeased with Zingelis - the former head of the Lithuanian commission "on assessing the crimes of the Nazi and Soviet occupation regimes" - acted in situ.
And yet it seems that the delegations of Lithuania and Ukraine were afraid of the threat that they themselves invented. The board of Kiriakides will be short - until January, and during this time the delegation of Moscow will not be able to return even if desired.
The fact is that the Cypriot will only finalize the term, which was assigned to the previous head of the PACE, Pedro Agramunt. In the Assembly, there is a system through which the European People's Party (center-right) and the Social Democrats in turn give each other the speaker's chair. In January, the term of the right will end, and the new leader should be the leftist's protege.
In general, the newly elected head of PACE did not have time to say a word about Russia, and the Ukrainian delegation already sensed something amiss. Thus, the first deputy chairman of the Verkhovna Rada, Irina Gerashchenko, immediately stated that the return of the Russian delegation to the PACE would be "the destruction of the foundations of the Council of Europe". And her colleague from the delegation, deputy chairman of the Petro Poroshenko Bloc faction in the Rada, Alexei Goncharenko, vowed to do everything possible and impossible to prevent the restoration of the Russian delegation's authority, RIA Novosti reported.
Feminism has helped
"Everything that depends on it, for the dialogue with Russia, of course, Mrs. Kyriakides in the three months will do," the member of the Latvian delegation to the PACE Boris Tsilevich told the newspaper VIEW. "But if someone hopes that tomorrow the assembly will meet and say everything, we change our position to 180 degrees, it's, to put it mildly, naive."
Unlike Lithuanians, the Latvian deputy is sure that the decisive role was played not by the Russian factor, but by the gender one - there were no women for a long time as chairman.
"And do not exaggerate the role of Kyriakides. This role is representative, within the rules. Decisions are made collectively, and, strictly speaking, the chairman has only one vote. He acts only in accordance with the powers given to him by the assembly, "said Tsilevich. - Actually, the problems of the previous chairman - Agramunt - were largely due to the fact that he exceeded his authority. "
As you know, Agramunt "voluntarily-forced" resigned with a scandal, and again because of Russia. He was accused of trying to get closer to Moscow - in the spring the head of PACE paid a visit to Syria as part of the Russian delegation. The Spaniard repented, but his career did not save him. To be able to expel him, PACE even corrected its own rules.
By the way, Cilevich himself is sure that now the ball is on the side of Moscow, and not PACE. "The absolute majority of the members of the assembly are very interested in the return of Russia. Her decision not to send a delegation at all this year was received with great regret. But the fact that the voting in the Crimea and the actions in the Donbass will not be understood and accepted by other delegations was also quite obvious, "the source stressed. "We need a dialogue, we need compromises," he called.
"The more time passes, the more difficult it will be to normalize the situation somehow, to return. Sooner or later there will come a point of no return. And I would really be sorry if Russia was outside the Council of Europe, "Tsilevich stressed.
Disorder in the anti-Russian team
Unlike Tsilevich, director of the Institute for Political Studies Sergei Markov (previously, as a State Duma deputy, he was part of the Russian delegation to PACE) saw a good sign in the victory of Kiriakides. In his opinion, the chances of the return of the Russian delegation have now grown slightly.
"However, this can not be called a victory for Russia. After all, the Russian deputies did not participate in this matter. Rather, it is the victory of that wing of PACE, which wants to lead the assembly out of the crisis, into which it has driven itself, depriving the Russian delegation of the right to vote,
- Markov told VZGLYAD, adding: for the interest of other countries to Russia indicates, for example, the huge attendance of the hall during the discussion of Russian topics.
"As soon as the discussion of the Russian theme ends, the percent of 50 delegates immediately leave the hall. And the media does not write about other topics. The return of the Russian delegation means that the PACE budget will increase, the interest of journalists will also increase. There a big coalition was formed for the return of the Russian delegation, "Markov is sure.
However, he predicts that the negotiations on this issue will be difficult, since it is unlikely that the PACE will want to return the delegation of the Russian Federation in full. For example, they can return Russian politicians the right to vote, but not the right to head committees and observation missions.
The failure of Zingeris was connected by the political scientist with the fact that the majority of deputies understood that the Poles and the Balts had led them into a dead end. "His nomination in general was a mistake. The Lithuanian is a weak candidate. In the PACE they do not like the Balts, they are used only to attack Russia. A more anti-Russian candidate could be a more relaxed politician, some Frenchman, a German or a Swede. The fact that they put up a Lithuanian, shows a confusion in the anti-Russian team. The broad anti-Russian coalition broke up, because it was at a dead end, "Markov is sure.
Money is very necessary
On the eve of Federation Council speaker Valentina Matvienko threatened that Russia would refuse to recognize the decisions of the Strasbourg Court (ECHR) unless conditions were created for her return to work in the PACE in the new year. Matviyenko also earlier welcomed the Foreign Ministry's decision to stop paying to the PACE budget.
Markov does not believe that the sharpness of these threats is due to the knowledge of the alignment of forces in the PACE and the foresight of the victory of the "pro-Russian" candidate. In his opinion, this is a pure coincidence. "It's about some tightening of the Russian position," believes Markov, adding that Moscow has recently been unhappy with some of the decisions of the ECHR, in particular the decisions on the case of blogger Alexei Navalny.
Meanwhile, Secretary General of the Council of Europe Thorbjørn Jagland admitted on Tuesday that the budget of the organization due to Moscow's decision not to pay part of the fee will decrease by 10%. "We must restructure the organization, reduce the staff by 10%," complained Jagland. As you know, in June, Moscow refused to transfer the next installment to the Council of Europe - this is 11 million euros.
In the Ukrainian delegation, Russia's refusal to pay was also commented upon, calling it "blackmail." "They have to pay unconditionally, because it's their duty just like every other country," assured MP Alexei Goncharenko. "But they say: we will pay only when you return our delegation without conditions." This will not happen, this is unacceptable. "