International Desk, Mar 10 (EFE).- Russia will no longer participate in the Council of Europe, an institution that governs human rights in the continent, the state-run Tass news agency reported Thursday.
Citing a Russian foreign ministry spokesperson, the news agency said NATO and European Union nations were sabotaging the European body and making it hostile toward Moscow.
The ministry said the EU and NATO were abusing their majority to force their points of view on the council.
The Russian foreign ministry statement comes two days after the council suspended Russia from the body after Russian troops invaded Ukraine on Feb.24.
On Tuesday, leaders of the council jointly condemned the Russian “aggression” against Ukraine.
“We condemn in the strongest possible terms the Russian Federation’s unprovoked aggression against Ukraine, an unjustified military attack of one member state of the Council of Europe against another member state,” they said in a joint statement.
“We reiterate our unwavering support for the independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders.”
They called on Russia “to stop its aggression, return to the path of diplomacy and fully recommit to European values.”
“We will continue to follow the situation closely and remain committed to taking further measures,” they said. EFE
The council, which is separate from the European Union, has 47 member states across Europe to uphold democracy, human rights and the rule of law in the continent.
Established in 1949 after World War II, the council has a large parliamentary assembly and regulates the European Court of Human Rights.