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One hundred politicians, analysts, and human rights activists urge Council of Europe to resist Russian blackmail

Source: Libmod
[editorial]The German think-tank Center for Liberal Modernity, founded by ex-Bundestag member Marieluise Beck, has published an appeal of over a hundred politicians, analysts, and human rights activists calling upon the Council of Europe to resist Russian blackmail and vote against the unconditional return of the Russian delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. The resolution which enables such a scenario will be voted for during a PACE session set to take place on 9 October 2018. The signatories include Toomas Hendrik Ilves, fourth president of Estonia (2006-2016), Petras Auštrevičius, Member of the European Parliament, Lithuania, Eitvydas Bajarunas, Ambassador-at-Large for Hybrid threats, Lithuanian MFA, Andrius Kubilius, Member of Parliament, Prime Minister of Lithuania (1999-2000, 2008-2012), Rebecca Harms, Member of the European Parliament, and other politicians. The letter is open for signing here.[/editorial]


We, the undersigned, are strongly concerned about the possible demise of the Council of Europe, which can take place very soon.

In response to Russia’s illegal annexation of the Crimea and military aggression in Eastern Ukraine, the Council of Europe suspended the voting rights of the Russian delegation. In its turn, Russia has turned to blackmail, having suspended membership fees to the Council of Europe and boycotting participation in the Parliamentary Assembly.

In order to triumphantly return to the PACE in January next year without implementing demands contained in a number of PACE resolutions, Russia and its supporters decided to act by the principle: if you can not change the policy of the Council of Europe, change its rules. If changes to the current sanctions rules are made, it will be virtually impossible to apply sanctions in the future AGAINST ANY MEMBER STATE.

Such changes, resulting in the unconditional return of Russia to PACE, will have the following negative impact on the Council of Europe and situation with human rights in Europe:

1) by allowing Russia to succeed in blackmailing, the CoE will compromise and discredit itself. A weak Council of Europe will lose its authority and influence in those parts of Europe where it is needed the most;

2) without the capacity to apply sanctions, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe will become a toothless organization, stripping itself of the only tool which could motivate an offender of the CoE’s declared values – democracy, human rights and rule of law – to correct its policies;

3) it could trigger a full-scale crisis in the organization.

We call upon the ruling elites of all CoE Member States not to allow the demise of the organization. History will judge harshly those who give in to blackmail from undemocratic societies where the rule of force is above the rule of law.

Signed by:
Toomas Hendrik Ilves, fourth president of Estonia (2006-2016)
Petras Auštrevičius, Member of the European Parliament, Lithuania
Eitvydas Bajarunas, Ambassador-at-Large for Hybrid threats, Lithuanian MFA,
Andrius Kubilius, Member of Parliament, Prime Minister of Lithuania (1999-2000, 2008-2012)
Beatriz Becerra, Member of the European Parliament, vice-chair of the European Parliament Subcommittee on Human Rights, Spain
Rebecca Harms, Member of the European Parliament, Germany
Anna Maria, Corazza Bildt, Member of the European Parliament, Sweden
Ana Gomes, Member of the European Parliament, Portugal
František Kopřiva, Deputy, Czech Pirate Party, Representative to PACE, Czech Republic
Jan Lipavsky, Member of the Parliament, Chamber of Deputies, Czech Republic
Werner Schulz, former MP and MEP, Germany
Hanne Severinsen, Danish Helsinki Committee, Former MP and PACE, Denmark
Marieluise Beck, Former Bundestag Member, Germany
Danylo Lubkivsky, Former Deputy Foreign Minister, Ukraine
Markus Meckel, Former Foreign Minister of the GDR; Vors. Stiftungsrat Bundesstiftung Aufarbeitung, Germany
Paweł Kowal, Former member of the European Parliament, Poland

Also signed by:
Hannes Adomeit, Senior fellow, Institute for Security Policy, UKIEL, Germany
Willem Aldershoff, former head of unit, European Commission, Analyst international affairs, Belgium
Jessikka Aro, Journalist, Finland
Anders Åslund, Senior Fellow, Atlantic Council, Swedish citizen, resident in the USA
Dalia Bankauskaite, Head of the Media program at the Vilnius Institute for policy analysis, Lithuania
Kamil Basaj, Info Ops Project Manager, CEO at @Disinfo_Digest, Poland
Steven Blockmans, Senior research fellow, CEPS, Belgium
Olaf Boehnke, Advisor, Alliance of Democracies, Germany
Tim Bohse, Political Scientist, Germany
Simon Bracey-Lane, Research Fellow, Institute for Statecraft, UK
Aleksandar Brezar, Editor, National RTV of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BHRT), Bosnia and Herzegovina
Pascal Bruckner, philosopher, France
Simas Čelutka, Head of European Security Programme at Vilnius Institute for Policy Analysis, Lithuania
Iulian Chifu, Professor, researcher; Conflict Prevention and Early Warning Center Bucharest, Romania
Carmen Claudín, Associate senior researcher CIDOB, Spain
Evan O’Connell, European Affairs commentator, France
Halyna Coynash, Kharkiv Human Rights Group, Ukraine
Eugene Czolij, Ukrainian World Congress, President, Canada
Haroldas Daublys, Head of Lithuanian Riflemen’s Union’s support group for Ukraine, Lithuania
Danilo Elia Rai, Public broadcaster of Italy / Journalist, Italy
Urve Eslas, Adjunct fellow, CEPA, Estonia
Yevhen Fedchenko, co-founder, Ukraine
André Fesiak, Independent Researcher, France
Petr Fojtík, Analyst, Czech Pirate Party, Czech Republic
Roland Freudenstein, policy director at the Martens Center for European Studies, Belgium
Ralf Fuecks, Center for Liberal Modernity, Director, Germany
Anna Garmash, Head of “Ukraine Action” (NGO), France
Alyona Getmanchuk, director, New Europe Center, Ukraine
Anke Giesen, Lecturer, Germany
Paul Goble, Former US Government Specialist on the Non-Russian Peoples of the Formber Soviet Space, USA
George Grabowicz, Professor, Harvard University, United States
Gustav Gressel, Senior Policy Fellow; European Council on Foreign Relations, Germany
Iulian Groza, Executive Director, Institute for European Policies and Reforms, Moldova
Pavel Havlicek, Analyst at Association for International Affairs (AMO) in Prague, Czech Republic
Berta Herrero, MEP Advisor, European Parliament, Spain
Maryna Iaroshevych, Director of the Ukrainian World Congress Mission to International Organizations, Belgium
Jakub Janda, Director, European Values Think-Tank, Czech Republic
Kornely Kakachia, Georgian Institute of Politics, Georgia
Julia Kazdobina, Head, Ukrainian Foundation for Security Studies, Ukraine
Tamar Kintsurashvili, Director, Media Development Foundation (MDF), Georgia
Lino Klevesath, political scientist, Germany
Jana Kobzova, Advisor, Alliance of Democracies, Belgium
Petr Kolář, Občané pro – Citizens for Czech Republic
Peter Koller, The Greens, Germany
Lyudmyla Kozlovska, President of the Open Dialogue Foundation, Belgium
Jacek Kucharczyk, President, Institute of Public Affairs, Poland
Kostiantyn Kvurt, Head of Board at Internews Ukraine, Ukraine
Philippe De Lara, assistant professor of political science at Paris 2 university, France
Marius Laurinavicius, Senior expert, Vilnius Institute for Policy Analysis, Lithuania
John Lough, Associate Fellow, Russia & Eurasia Programme, Chatham House, the United Kingdom
Jeff Lovitt, New Diplomacy, Chair, UK and Czech Republic
Oleksiy Makukhin, Ukraine Crisis Media Center, Ukraine
Oleksandra Matviychuk, Head of Center for Civil Liberties, Ukraine
Daniel Mazur, Project Manager; Charles University, Czech Republic
Martin Mycielski, Brussels Correspondent, Gazeta Wyborcza, Belgium
James Nixey, Head, Russia and Eurasia Programme, Chatham House
Ghia Nodia, Chairman, Caucasus Institute for Peace, Democracy and Development (CIPDD), Georgia
Robert van der Noordaa, investigative journalist, the Netherlands
Malvin Nygård, businessman, Norway
Oxana Pachlovska, Professor, University of Rome, Italy–Ukraine
Massimiliano Di Pasquale, Journalist and writer, Italy
Tetiana Pechonchyk, Human Rights Information Center, the head of board, Ukraine
Nicolas De Pedro, Senior fellow, Institute for Statecraft, Spain
Christian Pieper, Judge, Germany
Iryna Pieper, Teacher, Germany
Tetiana Pushnova, Independent media consultant, former Chief Producer of international TV Channel UKRAINE TODAY, Ukraine
Antje Rempe language teacher; president of the Partnerschaftsverein Charkiw-Nürnberg, Germany
Igor Reshetnyak, Researcher, EPFL, Switzerland
Ben Robinson, Senior Fellow, Institute for Statecraft, UK
Giedrius Sakalauskas, Res Publica, Lithuania
Olaf Saxegaard, Consultant, Norway
Alya Shandra, editor, Euromaidan Press, Ukraine
Anton Shekhovtsov, Institute for Euro-Atlantic Cooperation, Ukraine
Kristian Magnus Skarsvåg, IT consultant, Norway
Maria Slesazeck, DRA e.V., Germany
Vladimir Socor, Senior Fellow, Jamestown Foundation, USA / Germany
Susan Stewart, German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP), Germany
Alice Stollmeyer, Executive Director, Defending Democracy, Belgium
Dovile Sukyte, Policy Analyst, Eastern Europe Studies Centre, Lithuania
Sergiy Sydorenko, Editor, European Pravda, Ukraine
Joanna Szostek, Lecturer, University of Glasgow, United Kingdom
Wolfgang Templin, Publicist, Germany
Lasha Tughushi, Chairman of the Georgian national platform, EaP Civil Society Forum, Georgia
Andreas Umland, Institute for Euro-Atlantic Cooperation, Ukraine
Reinhard Weißhuhn, Robert-Havemann-Gesellschaft, Germany
Robert Werner, CEO, Germany
Kataryna Wolczuk, Associate Fellow, Chatham House, United Kingdom
Anna Yavorska, Advocacy Officer, Open Dialogue Foundation, Belgium
Volodymyr Yermolenko, philosopher, journalist, editor at, Ukraine
Borys Zakharov, Humanitarian Studio Khvylia, Head of the Board, Ukraine
Sonja Adelheid, Germany
Bjørn Johan Berger, Norway
Anzhela Prazdnichnykh, Belgium
Malvin Nygård, Norway
Dr. Ječmínek Jan Martin, Czech Republic
Antonina Demenko, Norway
Even Jahr, Norway
Jaroslav Froněk, Czech Republic
Irina Loaberg, Norway
Ondřej Moravčík, Czech Republic

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Source: Libmod
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