Secretary General of the Council of Europe Thorbjorn Jagland has said that the organization will have to expel Russia from the Council if the country does not make monetary contributions, TASS reports.
In response, Chairman of the Russian State Duma's International Affairs Committee Leonid Slutsky said that Russia should think about freezing its membership in the Council of Europe, without waiting for expulsion.
"The destructiveness of the organizations and its institutions, particularly PACE [Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe], makes one think that we should probably consider temporarily suspending or freezing Russia's membership in the Council of Europe, without waiting for anti-Russian bureaucrats to initiate an expulsion procedure," Slutsky told journalists.
In accordance with the Statute of the Council of Europe, the Committee of Ministers may temporarily suspend membership of a country that has not been making monetary contirbutions for two years. Russia stopped making contributions in 2017 against the backdrop of a crisis in relations with PACE. The two-year timeframe for failure to make monetary contirbutions will end for Russia in June 2019.