The Italian Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and Chair of the Council of Europe's Committee of Ministers, Luigi Di Maio, the President of the Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly, Tiny Kox, and the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Marija Pejčinović Burić, have made the following statement:
“As leaders of the Council of Europe we expressed on several occasions our firm condemnation of the Russian Federation’s aggression against Ukraine. This unjustified and unprovoked aggression led to the decision of the Committee of Ministers and the Parliamentary Assembly to initiate the procedure of expulsion of the Russian Federation from the Council of Europe provided under Article 8 of the Statute.
In this framework, tonight, the Parliamentary Assembly unanimously considered that the Russian Federation should no longer be a member State of the Organisation. The Committee of Ministers will hold an extraordinary meeting tomorrow morning also in the light of today’s notification by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation of the Russian leadership’s decision to withdraw from the Council of Europe.
Through their actions in Ukraine the Russian authorities deprive the Russian people of the benefit of the most advanced human rights protection system in the world, including the jurisdiction of the European Court of Human Rights and our vast convention system.
We express solidarity with the Russian people who, we firmly believe, share democratic values and aspire to remain part of the European family where they belong.
We remain determined to use all means at our disposal to provide support, relief and legal remedies to the Ukrainian people in their fight against the aggressor and to continue the pursuit of peace based on justice and international co-operation.
It is important in these difficult times for Europe to stand strong and united by Ukraine, its authorities and the Ukrainian people."