Latvia to skip plenary meetings of PACE in solidarity with Ukraine

Latvia will be the only Council of Europe member not to participate in the plenary meetings of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe's (PACE) autumn session in solidarity with Ukraine, but the Latvian delegates will continue participation in PACE political groups and committees, Inese Lībiņa-Egnere (New Unity), head of the Latvian delegation to the PACE, told the press.

As LETA was told at the parliamentary press service, representatives of the Estonian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Ukrainian and Georgian delegations have agreed to boycott the celebratory events marking the organization's 70th anniversary in protest at Russia's stance within the organization. 

The heads of the five countries' delegations have signed a joint statement in which they are calling attention to the Council of Europe's undermined values, as a majority of the Council of Europe's member states are turning a blind eye to Russia's continued human rights violations, occupation of territories and military action against its neighbor countries, as well as countless other violations Russia continues to commit after its voting rights in the PACE have been restored. 

The aforementioned countries have formed the Baltics+ Group to remind the PACE and its members about the organization's fundamental principles, uphold the non-recognition of the annexation of Crimea by Russia, as well as to regularly denounce Russia's military occupation of eastern Ukraine, as well as parts of Georgia and Moldova. The next meeting of the Baltics+ Group is scheduled to take place in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv in mid-November. 

This year's PACE autumn session is taking place in Strasbourg until October 4. 

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