Invading Ukraine threatens to force Russia to leave the Council of Europe. One leader says that the treaty organisation monitors human rights in Europe threatens to suspend or even expel Russia for the “brutal rape” of its principles.
The Dutch chairman of the parliamentary branch of the Council of Europe, Tiny Kox, has convened emergency consultations for the representatives of the 47 member states and the parliamentary assembly before Friday morning. There they will decide to suspend Russia, he expects. This requires a large majority, but Kox has not seen a member state that has stood up for Russia since the attack on Ukraine.
The Council of Europe can also dismiss Russia altogether or ask it to leave itself. But that procedure is more complicated and time-consuming and “can be suspended immediately”. In addition, as a suspended member, Moscow remains bound to adhere to the council’s agreements, and Russians keep the option to go to the human rights court in Strasbourg.
A suspension may have the same outcome as an exclusion because Moscow previously expressed the honour to keep to itself in that case. However, the word honour would be out of place in his “inconceivable dishonourable behaviour,” Kox says. “Russia itself has previously indicated that it would like to remain a member” of the council, which was established after the Second World War to promote human rights and to which almost all European countries belong. “Then his behaviour must also rhyme with it.” Kox hopes that steps by the council will bring “sensible people in Russia” to their guns.
A departure from Russia would end a decades-long struggle with the troubled child. Moscow has been reprimanded and reprimanded countless times by the various sections of the council. Unfortunately, the country is less and less interested in this.