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Ukraine crisis: Russia calls Council of Europe a ‘Russophobic’ tool of the West

The pan-European rights body expelled Russia on Wednesday after over a quarter of a century of membership



Reuters file
Reuters file

By AFP

Published: Sat 19 Mar 2022, 7:53 AM

Russia’s outspoken foreign ministry spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, Friday accused the Council of Europe of being a “Russophobic” instrument serving Western interests.

The pan-European rights body expelled Russia on Wednesday after over a quarter of a century of membership.

“Due to the Westerners’ Russophobic activity”, the Council of Europe is losing its reason for being, Zakharova said in a statement.

“By placing the service of the bloc’s interests above its own statutory objectives, the Council of Europe has been turned into an obedient instrument of the European Union, Nato and their satellites,” she added.

Moscow had announced Tuesday that it was quitting the council, ahead of the formal decision taken by the body’s committee of ministers the following day to expel Russia over its operation in Ukraine.

Moscow had been suspended from all its rights of representation on February 25, the day after the start of its military campaign.

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Zakharova said the expulsion changed nothing for Russia.

“Russia does not accept Brussels’ tutelage in matters of human rights,” she said, accusing the EU of “haggling over exceptions, exemptions and privileges” in defending its values, “just like in a bazar”.

Russia had been a member of the Council of Europe since 1996.

Its exit from the body has sparked concerns over human rights in the country.


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