13 APR 2019

Amendments at Council of Europe to try to influence report on Russians

The PRESIDENT* –

I call Mr Howell to support Amendment 16.

Mr HOWELL (United Kingdom) –

I do not wish to press the amendment.

The PRESIDENT* –

Amendment 16 is not moved.

I call Mr Howell to support Amendment 17.

Mr HOWELL (United Kingdom) –

Russia's activities are described in the resolution as merely an administrative mistake, but they are a fundamental attack on our common values and we should say that in the resolution.

The PRESIDENT* –

Thank you. Does anyone wish to speak against the amendment? I call Mr Kox.

Mr KOX (Netherlands) –

As I said in committee, the resolution is structured to mention what the Assembly has done in a positive way and then come back to the problems. The content of the amendment is mentioned in the resolution, but the amendment would put it into the wrong place, so I advise the Assembly not to adopt it.

The PRESIDENT* –

What is the opinion of the committee?

Ms OOMEN-RUIJTEN (Netherlands) –

Against.

The PRESIDENT* –

I shall now put the amendment to the vote.

The vote is open.

Amendment 17 is rejected.

I call Mr Howell to support Amendment 18.

Mr HOWELL (United Kingdom) –

I do not wish to press the amendment.

The PRESIDENT* –

Amendment 18 is not moved.

I call Mr Howell to support Amendment 19.

Mr HOWELL (United Kingdom) –

I wish to press the amendment because we ought to say in the resolution that the situation has been caused principally by the Russian Federation's conduct.

The PRESIDENT* –

Does anyone wish to speak against the amendment? I call Mr Kox.

Mr KOX (Netherlands) –

It is completely clear that the Russian Federation is doing wrong by not paying its contribution, but we have more financial problems and should not think that the Russian financial problem is the only one. We have far more problems and that is the essence of the resolution. We are talking about the whole Council of Europe, not only one member State, even though that member State does not behave.

The PRESIDENT* –

What is the opinion of the committee?

Ms OOMEN-RUIJTEN (Netherlands) –

Against.

The PRESIDENT* – I shall now put the amendment to the vote.

The vote is open.

Amendment 19 is rejected.

I call Mr Howell to support Amendment 20.

Mr HOWELL (United Kingdom) – Amendment 20 reaffirms previous resolutions of the Council of Europe and states the purpose envisaged for the whole resolution.

The PRESIDENT* –

Does anyone wish to speak against the amendment? I call Mr Kox.

Mr KOX (Netherlands) –

The resolution states that Russia violated international law by illegally annexing Crimea. It is already in the resolution. It would be better if the movers of some amendments read the report before pressing their amendments. It is already in the resolution, so I reject the amendment.

The PRESIDENT* –

What is the opinion of the committee?

Ms OOMEN-RUIJTEN (Netherlands) – Against.

The PRESIDENT* –

I shall now put the amendment to the vote.

The vote is open.

Amendment 20 is rejected.

I call Mr Howell to support Amendment 21.

Mr HOWELL (United Kingdom) – The amendment speaks for itself. It would make the resolution clearer.

The PRESIDENT* –

Does anyone wish to speak against the amendment? I call Mr Kox.

Mr KOX (Netherlands) –

The resolution states what has factually happened, so it would not make sense to delete those words from the text. We should not deny facts.

The PRESIDENT* – What is the opinion of the committee?

Ms OOMEN-RUIJTEN (Netherlands) – Against.

The PRESIDENT* –

I shall now put the amendment to the vote.

The vote is open.

Amendment 21 is rejected.

I call Mr Howell to support Amendment 22.

Mr HOWELL (United Kingdom) – The amendment is important, for reasons described by one of the speakers in the debate. It is a sensible proposal to set out a budget proposition that reflects the absence of the money from the Russian Federation.

The PRESIDENT* – Does anyone wish to speak against the amendment? I call Mr Kox.

Mr KOX (Netherlands) –

We have already decided that we will talk about all the budget and all the consequences of Russia's non-payment in our June part-session. That is the moment when we should debate such elements, not in the case of this resolution. I advise the Assembly to reject the amendment.

The PRESIDENT* –

What is the opinion of the committee?

Ms OOMEN-RUIJTEN (Netherlands) –

Against.

The PRESIDENT* –

I shall now put the amendment to the vote.

The vote is open.

Amendment 22 is rejected.

I call Mr Howell to support Amendment 23.

Mr HOWELL (United Kingdom) –

The amendment merely repeats the position taken in previous resolutions and sets out precisely what we want the Russian Federation to do. It is important to include that in the resolution.

The PRESIDENT* –

Does anyone wish to speak against the amendment? I call Mr Kox.

Mr KOX (Netherlands) –

The resolution deals with the main challenges for the future and the role and mission of the Assembly. It calls for all 47 member States to live up to their obligations. It does not make sense to mention one, two or three States in particular, so I propose that the Assembly rejects the amendment.

The PRESIDENT* –

What is the opinion of the committee?

Ms OOMEN-RUIJTEN (Netherlands) – Against.

The PRESIDENT* –

I shall now put the amendment to the vote.

The vote is open.

Amendment 23 is rejected.

.I call Mr Howell to support Amendment 24.

Mr HOWELL (United Kingdom) –

This amendment is to restate the purpose of why we are here and why this Organisation is here. That should not be forgotten in this report.

The PRESIDENT* –

Does anyone wish to speak against the amendment?

I call Mr Kox.

Mr KOX (Netherlands) – T

here is nothing wrong with human rights, the rule of law and democracy, but as they are mentioned several times already in the report, to add it here once again is unnecessary. That is the reason that the Committee voted against the Amendment and I urge people here to reject it.

The PRESIDENT* –

What is the opinion of the Committee?

Ms OOMEN-RUIJTEN (Netherlands)* –

The committee is against.

The PRESIDENT* –

The vote is open.

Amendment 24 is rejected.

I call Mr Howell to support Amendment 25.

Mr HOWELL (United Kingdom) –

I withdraw Amendment 25.

The PRESIDENT* –

Amendment 25 is withdrawn.

I call Mr Howell to support Amendment 26.

Mr HOWELL (United Kingdom) –

This is an important amendment. We have a prohibition on countries joining us that still have capital punishment, but that is judicial capital punishment. Where countries try to kill people, whether members of their own community or others, as the Russians did in Salisbury in the UK, we should include that in here as well.

The PRESIDENT* –

Does anyone wish to speak against the Amendment?

I call Mr Kox.

Mr KOX (Netherlands) –

This Assembly and this whole Organisation rejects capital punishment, but to add it all of a sudden here in this report, on how to deal with our main challenges, is not the right place to mention it. So, I propose not accepting this Amendment.

The PRESIDENT* –

What is the opinion of the committee?

Ms OOMEN-RUIJTEN (Netherlands)* –

The committee is against.

The PRESIDENT* –

The vote is open.

Amendment 26 is rejected.

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