Russia ceased to be a member of the European Council on Wednesday.| Photo: EFE/EPA/ALEXEI NIKOLSKY/Kremlin Pool/Sputnik
Russia ceased to be a member of the European Council on Wednesday (16), after 26 years, following the war in Ukraine, announced the body which has defended the continent’s human rights and democratic principles since 1949 .
Council of Europe Secretary General Marija Pejcinovic said the process that led to the expulsion was opened because the attack on Ukraine “goes against everything we stand for and is a violation of our statute and of the European Convention on Human Rights”.
On February 25, the day after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Council had already announced that it could exclude Russia. This Wednesday, the Kremlin called for the start of the organization’s exit process. “Those who force us to take this step will bear full responsibility for the destruction of the common humanitarian and legal space on the continent and the consequences for the European Council itself, which, without Russia, will lose its pan-European status.” , signed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Russian foreigners via Telegram.
This is the first expulsion by a member state in the organization’s nearly 73-year history. After the announcement, several Council of Europe officials began lowering the Russian flag at the entrance to the Palace of Europe in Strasbourg, where it stood alongside those of the other 46 member states, including the Ukraine.