Russia may lift the ban on capital punishment if it’s excluded from PACE, a senior Russian MP told the Echo of Moscow radio station.
According to Igor Morozov, a member of the international affairs committee of the Federation Council, Europe would lose a powerful leverage against Russia if it votes to kick the nation out of PACE. Russia would no longer feel obliged to comply with the rulings of the Strasbourg-based European Court of Human Rights, he added.
Anyway, even if it’s shown the door, Russia could re-apply for membership in PACE later this year, said Alexey Pushkov, chairman of the State Duma committee on international affairs.
Earlier, Germany’s chancellor Angela Merkel indicated Russia might be facing new sanctions at a conference of the Christian Democratic Union.
According to Deutsche Welle, the German leader warned the EU will adopt new restrictions if Moscow continues to violate Ukraine’s territorial integrity.
Russia has sparked a wave of criticism after it incorporated Crimea into its territory following a referendum on the peninsula with a large ethnic Russian population.
The US and the EU imposed a raft of sanctions on Russian officials and individuals with close ties to the Kremlin.
The US also put space and military cooperation on hold, followed by some of its NATO allies, including the UK.
The US sanctions have encountered a vigorous response from the Russian Foreign Ministry which came up with a black list of its own.
Author: Mikhail Vesely