Council of Europe Assembly brands Russia ‘terrorist regime’
The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) adopted a resolution on Thursday, urging its member states to “declare the current Russian regime as a terrorist one.”
The resolution was overwhelmingly backed by the PACE members present at the session, with 99 voting in its favor and one abstaining. The body has a total of 306 seats and twice as many members, half of which are principal members and half are substitutes.
The adoption of the resolution has been celebrated by top Ukrainian officials, including President Vladimir Zelensky, who addressed the assembly before the vote.
“This is a powerful signal to the world community and Russia that punishment for crimes is inevitable!” Zelensky said in a post on Twitter.
The remark was echoed by Ukrainian Prime Minister Denis Shmigal, who described the resolution as “the first step” in the right direction, reaffirming Ukraine’s refusal to negotiate with Russia. Kiev has long urged its Western backers to designate Russia as a “state sponsor of terrorism” over Moscow’s ongoing military operation against the country.
Russia officially withdrew from the Council of Europe back in March, accusing it of being a “convenient platform for NATO’s information and political campaigns.” Shortly afterwards, PACE voted to expel the country over its military operation against Ukraine.
Moscow sent troops into Ukraine on February 24, citing Kiev’s failure to implement the Minsk agreements, designed to give the regions of Donetsk and Lugansk special status within the Ukrainian state. The protocols, brokered by Germany and France, were first signed in 2014. Former Ukrainian president Pyotr Poroshenko has since admitted that Kiev’s main goal was to use the ceasefire to buy time and “create powerful armed forces.”
In February 2022, the Kremlin recognized the Donbass republics as independent states and demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join any Western military bloc. Kiev insists the Russian offensive was completely unprovoked.