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Réf. CG-PR 013 (2014)

The Council of Europe Congress adopts a declaration on the situation in Ukraine

Strasbourg, 26.03.2014 – During its plenary session in Strasbourg, the Congress adopted a declaration on Ukraine following an urgent debate, on the situation in the country, on 25 March. The declaration was presented by Marc Cools (Belgium, ILDG) and received 148 votes in favour, 22 votes against and 8 abstentions.

The Congress states that it “does not accept the validity of the referendum, held on 16 March last, without the minimum democratic guarantees that should be in place for any vote. This pseudo-consultation should on no account pave the way for a change of borders between Russia and Ukraine. The Congress therefore condemns Russia’s annexation of Crimea and Sebastopol in violation of international law.”

Moreover, the Congress declared its readiness to send a delegation to the Ukraine, including to the region of Crimea, to examine the situation. It is also at the disposal of the Ukrainian authorities to take part in a mission to observe the local elections to be held on 25 May 2014.

The day before, the Congress Bureau had reaffirmed its willingness to maintain a dialogue with Russia and considered that in the current situation, only Congress meetings on the political dialogue for resolving the crisis in the Crimea and the restoration of the territorial integrity of Ukraine could be held in Russia.  The next meetings of the monitoring and current affairs committees, initially scheduled to take place in Russia - in Ulyanovsk and Kazan respectively - would therefore be held in another member state.

Declaration

More information : File 26th Session

The Congress has two chambers, the Chamber of Local Authorities and the Chamber of Regions.
It brings together 318 full and 318 substitute members representing more than 200 000 European territorial communities.
President of the Congress: Herwig Van Staa (Austria, EPP/DC), President of the Chamber of Regions: Nataliya Romanova (Ukraine, IDLG), President of the Chamber of Local Authorities: Jean-Claude Frécon (France, SOC)
Political Groups: Socialist Group (SOC), Group of the European People’s Party – Christian Democrats (EPP/CD), Independent and Liberal Democrat Group (ILDG), European Conservatives & Reformists Group  (ECR)