Moscow has blamed NATO countries for “breaking off the dialogue”
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Russia has officially informed the Council of Europe of its withdrawal from the organization. As Deputy Speaker of the Russian Duma Pyotr Tolstoy announced on Tuesday, a letter from the Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov has been handed over to the Secretary General of the organization.
“All responsibility for breaking off the dialogue with the Council of Europe lies with the NATO countries, which all this time have been using the topic of human rights for fulfilling their own geopolitical interests and for attacks on our country,” Tolstoy said.
He added that “due to the unprecedented sanctions and political pressure,” Russia is not going to pay the annual fee to the Council of Europe.
Stressing that Russia is leaving the organization “of its own free will,” Tolstoy explained that this “balanced and considered decision” had been taken “in the midst of yet another anti-Russian discussion in PACE,” which, in his words, might result in “another deceitful Russophobic resolution based on the peculations which have nothing to do with reality.”