Russia moves to leave European treaties
President Vladimir Putin instructed Russian lawmakers on Tuesday to adopt a law that would formally end the country’s participation in 21 treaties and charters related to the Council of Europe. Moscow withdrew from the human rights body last March, claiming it had been captured by the US and its allies and only serves Western political objectives.
Putin has formally submitted the bill on terminating the treaties to State Duma chair Vyacheslav Volodin, following the provisions of a 1995 federal law.
Among the 21 treaties that will cease to apply to Russia is the charter of the Council of Europe (CoE), the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, the European Convention for the Suppression of Terrorism, the European Charter of Local Self-Government, and the European Social Charter. The CoE will also lose the immunities and privileges granted by the charter.
The CoE was established in 1949 by several Western European countries, with a mission to promote “democracy, human rights and the rule of law.” Russia joined the organization in 1996 and in 1998 ratified the human rights convention.
In February 2022, however, 42 out of 47 members voted to suspend Moscow’s membership, citing the conflict in Ukraine. Russia condemned the “openly political” decision by which the nominally neutral body sided with the US and NATO, and withdrew from the CoE on March 15. Moscow also announced it would send only the prorated amount of its 2022 contribution to the CoE budget, approximately 5.7 million euros.
In June, Putin signed a law that declared all verdicts of the European Court of Human Rights after March 15 null and void in Russia. Moscow formally repealed the convention accepting the ECHR jurisdiction in September 2022. The following month, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) adopted a resolution urging member countries to declare “the current Russian regime as a terrorist one.”