Another Original LR Translation: PACE vs. Russia

Translator’s Note reports (translation below, original carries 42 comments in Russian) on moves to sanction Russia in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. If that happens, the Russians are threatening to withdraw from it altogether.

This presents an interesting conundrum. On the one hand, the Russians deserve to be thrown out of most anything; one the other, some of these international gatherings are of some – usually pathetically little – use in reining in Russia’s worst abuses.

I am in two minds on the issue myself – should I be Trotskyite about this and want things to get worse in order for them to get better (if Russia is sanctioned ordinary Russians will lose one of their last remaining protections and their resort of last instance, leaving them to suffer under a government restrained in one less way – yet this may be the way to get to the straw that breaks the camel’s back); or should I want there to be some way the international community can hold back Russian neo-Naziism.

My conclusion is that one must stick to principles, as by definition these must come first. If the Council of Europe finds Russia to be in breach of its obligations, it must be sanctioned (preferably with extreme prejudice!).

Russia may be deprived of voting rights in PACE

June 26, 2009

Translated from the Russian by Dave Essel

Russia may be deprived of its right to vote in PACE, announced Head of the Duma Committee for International Affairs, Dmitri Kosachev. The newspaper Kommersant reports that this could happen as early as this autumn or winter. Moscow has on numerous occasions declared that it will leave the Council of Europe altogether is such a sanction is taken against it. If Russia actually does this, then Russian citizens will no longer be able to take claims against Russia’s courts and authorities to the European Court of Human Rights.

The Georgian delegation has been collecting signatures in support of depriving Russia of its right to vote. The grounds for this sanction are Moscow’s non-fulfilment of a series of demands contained in PACE resolutions. The Council of Europe has demanded that an independent investigation of the events of August 2008 be instituted, that international observers be allowed into the region, and that Russian troops be withdrawn. PACE has additionally suggested to Moscow that it rescind its recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetian statehood.

The Russian delegation claims that these demands are provocations and impossible to comply with while at the same time recognising that this could lead to a review of the rights of Russia’s PACE representatives. “I’m afraid there are serious conflicts in the offing,” said Kosachev to Kommersant. “These discussions will have a very different tenor. We used to discuss whether Russia was right or not in certain matters but now we will be discussing whether or not we have complied with resolutions of the Assembly.”

The Georgian delegation needed 20 signatures in order for the matter of depriving Russia of its voting rights in PACE to be raised at the next session. According to PACE MP David Darchiashvili, it took less than a week to collect the requisite number.

Discussion of the Georgian war is by no means the only sore point for Russia which PACE is going to look into. It also plans in its autumn session to pass a resolution on politically motivated trials in Europe. This will devote particular attention to the Khodorkovsky trial. On top of this and following in President Medvedev’s footsteps, PACE has decided that it will look seriously into the problem of falsification of history – several reports on historical matters have been commissioned.

The Russian leadership has recently been asking itself ever more frequently why Russia even remains in the Council of Europe, where it is constantly subjected to criticism. Even Kosachev, while solidly defending the importance of Russia remaining in PACE, has in the last year allowed on several occasions that Russia might decide not to remain in Strasbourg if Moscow is deprived of its voting rights.

The consequences of such a departure could be weighty. Should Russia leave the Council of Europe, Russia’s citizens will no longer be able to go to the European Court of Human Rights. Last year 27000 Russians sought redress there.

12 responses to “Another Original LR Translation: PACE vs. Russia

  1. Throw the bums out. The RaSSiyans can’t have it both ways! 27,000 cases go to European Court of Human Rights, so that means that courts of Rasha are Sh!t. Let them eat cake instead. Why bother with pretending? Rashians voted overwhelmingly for Pootkin, so let them have what they wanted. Most that can will leave this fly infested empire as soon as possible. Europe does not need to listen to Rashan complaints in civilized courts, with Humans telling them what the must do.

  2. After they are thrown out of PACE it’s time to throw them out of the G8. That was Clinton and Blair’s mistake back in ’97 and a lot has changed since then.

    By every economic, cultural and civil society metric Russia sans their nuclear weapons and ragtag military is a better fit with the marginal Third World.

    They don’t even make the grade in the BRIC emerging market definition which was nothing more than a financial industry construct to sell investments. They aren’t anything more than a mine pit or a wellhead for China and the developed world to draw from with nothing more going for them but a commodity based economy that will always be boom or bust.

    Obama’s reset should be a plan with the Europeans to box Russia in like Bush successfully did with Chavez – designate them with Clown Status, monitor their behavior but let them implode on their own.

  3. Isolating Russia is not going to help anybody. What will this do, other than give more food for the anti-Western Russian media? Yet another piece of “evidence” that the world just won’t listen? Perhaps again some other little battle — send back some European diplomats, rant about how the world doesn’t understand Russia, get everybody a notch higher in anger level… And what for? Is this going to help Georgia?

    As far as pressure on the Russians, I’d prefer to go with this amazing number of Russian cases brought to the Human Rights Court.

  4. Asehpe, Russia plans to leave PACE which will end Russians having access to the EU Court of Human Rights. The problem with the high number of cases filed will be solved for them. And, since the Court’s verdicts are essentially unenforceable it is as useless as the UN is globally in changing Russia’s bad behavior. It’s naive to think that thug states reform because they are shamed.

    And, please, Putin’s anti-Western media propaganda at the end of the day isn’t making any more difference than anti-Western propaganda has in Cuba or Iran.

  5. Like Russia bothers what the Human Rights Court has to say. If they make a ruling the Kremlin doesn’t like they will just ignore it; if the Court makes a ruling in favor of the Kremlin, it will be danced on the world stage as another piece of propoganda. Sorry, this is not one of those cases of ‘keep your friends close, but keep your enemies closer’. The Kremlin needs to be ostracized from the world stage for their behavior.

    • @barb

      Actually, I waited to the judgements in (for example) the cases of the Nord-Ost or Beslan massacres.

      I guess it would be quite an embarrassment for them (the cases of murdering the Chechens are not quite, people in the world mostly don’t care at all – including fellow Muslims, yet somehow Beslan shocked the world 5 years ago).

  6. “… of a series of demands contained in PACE resolutions’.

    The whole idea of Russia’s cooperation with PACE talkshop is absurd to any sane Russian.
    “Russia may be deprived of its right to vote in PACE” – the sooner it happens the better for the Russians.

    Russia is not the size of Serbia, it is a great self-sufficient power from the Baltic to the Pacific which doesn’t need idiotic instructions from EU dwarves. Let them deliver lectures on human rights to Albanians, Estonians and Latvians.

    • So might is right? Is Russia that simple? Boy, I had heard theories about Russia’s inferiority complex (you know, the need to keep repeating things like “great self-sufficient power from the Baltic to the Pacific” even when it has nothing to do with the topic of discussion — as if her size should somehow exempt Russia from treating humans as humans!) that I really didn’t believe in; but when stuff like that keeps coming up in your prose, rts, it’s hard not to see it as supporting evidence.

      If Russia is oh so big and important, why don’t you just ignore everything that is said against it? Why pay so much attention to the opinions of Estonians, Latvians, Poles, Hungarians, Albanians… or even Americans?

      After all, you do believe that Russia is great, right? So why do you need to keep telling those who disagree that they are wrong? Why can’t you just shrug your shoulders and go about your daily business?

      Note that America doesn’t feel the need to keep posting answer after answer against North Korea’s anti-American propaganda; what for? Whereas Russia is apparently much more afraid of what “Albanians, Estonians and Latvians” think and say about it — hence this Big Need for a Commission Against Historical Falsifications… Again, why?

      If Russia can’t simply ignore these countries, then either they pose a real threat — and which would that be? they’re so tiny, and Russia is so big… — or then one has to accept the Russian inferiority complex theory…

      • You don’t get the psychological component Asehpe. In their inflamed minds, they are the greatest country that ever existed and that will ever exist, economically, politically, culturally, spiritually, all of it; the third Rome, in other words.

        But that’s not enough for them. They want the whole world to recognize this “truth” and repeat it often. And when the word laughs at them instead and points out they are third-world barbarians and thugs and their country is in reality a stinking hole, that hurts their pride very much. Hence, frequent and strident denials here

        • That’s the point of the “inferiority complex” theory, RV — which I don’t necessarily buy (I think it reifies an entire people, but that’s another discussion), but which does seem to illustrate this contradiction.

          You see, if Russians were really so deeply convinced of Russia’s superiority, why would they need everybody else to sing hosannas to them? Humans feel naturally superior to, say, worms; we don’t need worms to keep repeating ‘oh you are so superior!’ for us to believe that. It’s so obvious that nobody even thinks twice about it. Indeed, if someone someday could show that worms thought they were superior, we would all just laugh about it, not consider this a ‘threat’ and work to counter their ‘propaganda’.

          So: I don’t see Americans working overtime to counterargue whatever anti-American and anti-Western propaganda North Korea has come up with. Why? It’s so ridiculously obvious that America is better than North Korea, that it would be pointless to counterargue them. Anybody could do that.

          When that is no so clearly the case… then we see people nervously arguing and counterarguing. Which is the case of Russia.

          It would seem Russians did have a certain inferiority complex with respect to the West — starting with Peter the Great, it seems they always felt the need to ‘prove’ themselves (because it wasn’t obvious — because they themselves doubt it — etc.). There’s even a body of literature on this topic, as I recall.

  7. RTS
    Good riddance to bad rubbish! Don’t let the door to the EU, WTO, PACE, G8, Security Council, World Olympics etc, hit your Roosiyskaya asses.

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