Russian sanctions removed by Council of Europe despite Ukrainian objections

After the annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation in 2014, Russia and many of its prominent citizens were met with a global wave of sanctions. The Council of Europe suspended the Russian delegation’s voting rights during this time.

The International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI) is dismayed to see this sanction is being reversed just five years on. Despite objections by the Ukrainian and Georgian delegations, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe has voted by 118 votes to 62 to fully restore Russia’s voting and participatory rights. Ukrainian prime minister, Volodymyr Groysman, has called it ‘a display of utter contempt for international law’.

Crimea remains under Russian control and human rights violations continue to be reported in great numbers in Luhansk and Donetsk in eastern Ukraine, where Russia is providing support to pro-Russian separatists.