AA16CR33

AS (2016) CR 33

2016 ORDINARY SESSION

________________

(Fourth part)

REPORT

Thirty-third sitting

Wednesday 12 October 2016 at 3.30 p.m.

In this report:

1.       Speeches in English are reported in full.

2.       Speeches in other languages are reported using the interpretation and are marked with an asterisk.

3. The text of the amendments is available at the document centre and on the Assembly’s website. Only oral amendments or oral sub-amendments are reproduced in the report of debates

4.       Speeches in German and Italian are reproduced in full in a separate document.

5.       Corrections should be handed in at Room 1059A not later than 24 hours after the report has been circulated.

The contents page for this sitting is given at the end of the report.

(Mr Agramunt, President of the Assembly, took the Chair at 3.35 p.m.)

The PRESIDENT – The sitting is open.

1. Joint debate: Political consequences of the conflict in Ukraine and Legal remedies for human rights violations on the Ukrainian territories outside the control of the Ukrainian authorities

The PRESIDENT – We come now to the joint debate on two reports, one from the Committee on

Political Affairs and Democracy and the other from the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights. The first is titled “Political consequences of the conflict in Ukraine” (Document 14130) and will be presented by Ms Kristýna Zelienková; the second is titled “Legal remedies for human rights violations on the Ukrainian territories outside the control of the Ukrainian authorities” (Document 14139) and will be presented by Ms Marieluise Beck.

      I propose that to finish by 6.35 p.m. we should interrupt the list of speakers at about 5.45 p.m. to allow time for the reply and the vote. Are these arrangements agreed to? They are agreed to.

I call Ms Zelienková, rapporteur, to present the report on behalf of the Committee on Political Affairs and Democracy. You have 13 minutes in total, which you may divide between presentation of the report and replying to the debate.

Ms ZELIENKOVÁ (Czech Republic) – Before I talk about my report, I should like to express my gratitude to the whole team of the Committee on Political Affairs and Democracy, especially Ms Despina Chatzivassiliou, who helped me a lot during the preparation of this report.

We have visited Ukraine together several times and twice went to Donbass in the conflict area. We met a lot of politicians from the coalition and the opposition, government representatives and Mr Poroshenko, the President of Ukraine. Not only that, we had the opportunity to talk to representatives of international organisations working on the ground, including the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine, the United Nations human rights mission, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and many others, as well as representatives of civil society in both Kiev and the regions we visited. We tried to get as much information as possible about the political consequences of the illegal annexation of Crimea and the ongoing war in Donbass. Although we also tried to engage in dialogue with Russia, unfortunately, we were not successful. The details are in my report, which is still, I believe, a balanced one.

The situation in Ukraine started to change after the Maidan, the revolution of dignity, in November 2013, when civil society – the Ukrainian people – showed the direction the country should follow. As a reaction to the movement of Ukraine towards the European Union, Russia annexed Crimea. This action has shocked the whole world. There was a clear reaction that it is unacceptable to breach international law. This was actually the first time since the Second World War when we have been faced with the annexation of a part of an independent State in Europe. The international community reacted to this Russian violation of international law with various sanctions and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe joined this position.

      Russian soldiers soon appeared also in the eastern part of Ukraine in Donbass, where they help so-called separatists to destabilise the area. There has already been a war for two years in which the neighbouring country is sending soldiers and military materiel. Russia is obviously breaching international law and violating human rights. This topic will be presented in more detail by my colleague Marieluise Beck.

      Ukraine has decided to get away from Russian influence and build a functioning democratic State. Unfortunately, it is necessary to openly say that Ukrainian institutions still function to a great extent on the basis of rules in force since Soviet times. It is absurd to think the transformation will happen between one day and the next. It will take years before we are in a position to say that Ukraine is a fully working democratic State. The main obstacles are uncontrollable bureaucracy, corruption, including in the judicial system, and an oligarchic system that is close to politicians. If Ukraine does not manage to change this, it will not be in a position to stop external aggression by a stronger country with an expansionary policy. Ukraine is doing its utmost to push forward the reform process, but it is even more important to implement the changes and insist on the rule of law.

      In this context, I stress the important role of NGOs, which are doing a great job and play a decisive role in the legislative process. Sometimes, it seems there is a stronger will in favour of change in civil society than in the government. Due to the fragile political stability, constantly increasing tensions in Donbass and the lack of trust in government from civil society, another Maidan may happen. That is not the ideal scenario. The leadership of Russia will take advantage of any destabilisation of this country and support all activities that will lead to destabilisation because it is afraid of the success of democracy in neighbouring countries. It will also use this situation to influence the policy of the European Union.

      The annexation of Crimea was a test by Russia to see how fast Europe and other States would react. Let us not forget that all sanctions on Russia were implemented first of all because of the annexation of Crimea. Europe cannot accept the violation of international law. We must insist on respect for the rule of law if we do not want to create chaos. Different approaches by different countries could break unity and lead to instability in the whole of Europe. Only a united democratic and pluralist Europe can meet the current challenges.

      All Council of Europe member States have accepted the standards of human rights, the rule of law and democracy. It is unacceptable for the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe to make any exception for only one member State. Agreements must be complied with. All counterparties to the 1994 Budapest Memorandum on security assurance should adhere to their promises and protect Ukraine when it is attacked.

      It is true that within the Normandy format, France and Germany are doing their best through the Minsk agreement to bring peace in eastern Ukraine. Yesterday we heard from President Hollande how important it was to ensure a cease-fire in Donbass in order to have local elections there in accordance with Ukrainian law and in line with international standards for free and fair elections. The organisation of primaries in Donbass by the separatists is not only illegal, but also sends out a totally wrong signal as regards compliance with the Minsk agreement. We are keen to listen to the German Foreign Minister tomorrow on this issue as well.

      I would like to underline what is in the resolution I propose. For local elections to be recognised in Donbass, there must be an improved security environment following withdrawal of Russian troops and weapons, free media, and the participation of Ukrainian political parties in the campaign and of IDPs and refugees from Donbass in the vote. If the current state of affairs regarding compliance with the Minsk agreement is not promising, we still have to stick to it as this is all we have now to oppose an open war.

      I hope that you will support the proposed resolution, which some amendments will further improve and strengthen.

      The PRESIDENT – Thank you Ms Zelienková. You have five minutes remaining.

      I call Ms Beck, rapporteur, to present the report of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights. You have 13 minutes in total, which you may divide between presentation of the report and reply to the debate.

      Ms BECK (Germany) – The report “Legal remedies to human rights violations on the Ukrainian territories outside the control of the Ukrainian authorities” is the contribution of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights to this joint debate. I am pleased to say that it was adopted unanimously, not least because this is not an exercise in polemics aimed at condemning one country in particular. It is intended as a constructive contribution to help people find justice – for those who live in the conflict zone in the Donbass and in Crimea and whose rights were violated. The report sums up the numerous human rights violations which have occurred and are still occurring there daily. It also shows how difficult it is for victims to find justice.

      The Ukrainian courts have been “delocalised” from the areas not under the control of the rightful authorities, but their decisions cannot be enforced in the so-called “people’s republics”, nor in Crimea. The so-called “courts” set up by the de facto authorities lack professionalism, at least in the Donbass. Especially in cases in which local people dare complain against the de facto authorities, these “courts” are neither independent nor impartial.

      Where can the victims turn? It would appear that unfortunately the Strasbourg Court must once again play the role of last resort – the last hope for those looking for justice. The Court has shown the way in its case law concerning three regions: the northern part of Cyprus, the Transnistria region of Moldova, and most recently Nagorno-Karabakh. Victims of human rights violations in these regions are allowed to complain not only against the State to whom the territory in question belongs according to international law, but also against the State exercising de facto control, for example through the intermediary of a dependent local administration.

      As we have shown in the report, this is clearly the case not only in Crimea, where Russia does not even deny that she is in control, but also in the so-called LNR and DNR. The self-appointed administrations depend in many respects on the Russian Federation not only militarily but also administratively, in terms of staff and budgets, the provision of basic commodities, payment of salaries, and even school books. The leaders of the “republics” admitted that themselves.

      We must not forget that human rights violations are ongoing – I want to stress that. As we just learned, up to 10 000 ordinary prison inmates in the two “republics” await their release on probation, or following an amnesty routinely decided by Ukrainian judicial authorities, and have not been handed back over. They are being kept in prison as detainees and used as forced labour. I am really upset that in the midst of Europe in 2016, we once again have forced labour. As this became known only after I finished drafting my report, I am grateful to the movers of an amendment whose aim was to add a reference to that fact. What is more, cease-fire violations occur daily. The reports by OSCE special monitoring missions say that they are hindered more often in the occupied territories than by Ukrainian forces. We are on the eve of elections in the LNR and DNR that should be held according to the Minsk agreement, but as we have heard, only one party is being put forward. I hope that our debate makes a modest contribution to preventing a judicial black hole in the middle of Europe.

The PRESIDENT – Thank you, Ms Beck. You have almost nine minutes remaining. I call Mr Fischer.

Mr FISCHER (Germany, Spokesperson for the Group of the European People’s Party)* – I am most grateful for the opportunity to have this debate, and particularly for the fact that it is a joint debate on both reports, because although they have different titles, they form part of a whole. One is “Legal remedies for human rights violations on the Ukrainian territories outside the control of the Ukrainian authorities”. The title itself conveys what is the most important point to us all. We need to send out a clear message from this Chamber that the annexation of Crimea is illegal and a violation of international law. We must be clear that we stand alongside our Ukrainian friends here in the Parliamentary Assembly.

The other report, “Political consequences of the conflict in Ukraine”, is excellent and states what is going on in the country. If we were to change the title, we would also have to alter the substance of the report. We can work on the basis of the reports as currently titled. We heard from the Estonian Foreign Minister yesterday that the elections conducted by the Russian authorities in Ukrainian territory are illegal for the Russian authorities themselves. That is a clear message, and I am pleased that all groups here within the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe are in agreement.

Of course, discussions have been going on in the corridors about what can be done to facilitate the Russians’ return, but I do not think we should change any of the rules in order for Russia or any other country to return. We here stand for democracy, the rule of law and human rights. If we talk about changing the rules, we need to talk about the principles involved. We will only change the rules if we think it is necessary, not just because it happens to suit Russia, Turkey or any other country. No – any changes to the rules will be implemented only if they correspond to the principles that we uphold.

When discussing Russian human rights violations, we must stipulate what needs to be done, not only by the Russian authorities but by the Ukrainian authorities. Together with Mr Xuclŕ, I am one of the rapporteurs for the Monitoring Committee in respect of Ukraine. We will insist and impress on our Ukrainian friends the need to comply with their obligations. I hope that this will be a good debate that sends out clear messages. We should not be divided; we must underscore what we have in common. If we talk about the principles, we will be able to get our message across, rather than getting bogged down in smaller details.

Ms FINCKH-KRÄMER (Germany, Spokesperson for the Socialist Group)* – I thank the rapporteur for her extensive and expert report. I am particularly happy that all member States of the Council of Europe are being called on to support the peace process in Ukraine. One small step along that path is the attempt to separate the parties to the war progressively further at the contact line. The continuing war in eastern Ukraine should not be used as an excuse for the Ukrainian Government not to meet its political commitments under the Minsk agreement. That is true, for instance, of the changes to the constitution concerning decentralisation, which would strengthen Ukrainian democracy if they were implemented, particularly in Crimea and Donbass.

As the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, we must take very seriously reports of attacks and threats against opposition politicians and journalists in Ukraine. If journalists are killed in unclarified circumstances, as happened to Pavel Sheremet on 20 July, everything must be done to find the murderers and bring them to trial. Those who try to do research in separatist areas should not be publicly defamed or exposed to possible attacks. One of the tools of professional journalists is the ability to create their own picture of things by going where they are happening. It is decisively important for a democracy that dissenting opinions and criticism of government can be expressed without fear of persecution.

There has still been no comprehensive penal prosecution of those responsible for the fatal shootings in the Maidan or for the killings in Odessa on 2 May 2014. Amnesty International’s Human Rights Watch has released a disturbing report that the Ukrainian secret service, the SBU, has repeatedly arrested and mistreated people. We must find a penal solution to these matters.

Many people in the Ukraine want the people who live in separatist areas in eastern Ukraine to be better supported by the government. They do not approve of what Russia is doing but rather occupy a third position more in favour of reconciliation than some politicians are. The government should appreciate their empathy for their fellow citizens suffering from the war. In our decisions and discussions here, we should be concerned with what might lead to peace and reconciliation, not with what will further separate people and escalate the conflict.

Ms REPS (Estonia, Spokesperson for the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe) – On behalf of ALDE, I am very proud of these two brave ladies from our group who, with help from the Ukrainians and from this Parliamentary Assembly, have published two excellent and historic papers. Let me draw your attention to why they are historic. These are the first international reports putting down facts that we are used to discussing in corridors, maybe with friends, but that have somehow ended up being very modestly worded when they come to political circles. We are now talking about these territories as under the de facto control of the Russian Federation. Russian Federation armed forces and special forces still have a presence there, and conflict is ongoing. That is no surprise to us, but these are the first international documents for almost three years to point that out again.

      It is of the utmost importance that we realise that this conflict – this war – and the occupation of Crimea are directly affecting more than 6 million people. Many members of this Parliamentary Assembly represent much smaller countries and we are very proud of our nations. The entire population of the small nation of Crimean Tatars are collectively harassed just because they happen to live in Crimea, and those who have historically represented them are now called a terrorist and extremist group.

      What can we do? Legal remedies are very important, including direct access to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. That decision is up to us, and it is very important for those people. Politically speaking, the next few months will involve intense discussions about how we return to the 22 conditions in our communications with the Russian Federation. Please let us not forget what we said two years ago and almost three years ago. Please read these very good, detailed reports and think about those people who have lost their loved ones; who do not have access to medical care or social justice; who cannot provide for those with disabilities and who cannot be treated when sick. Children have disappeared from orphanages and people have been trafficked through mine fields. That is actually happening in the middle of Europe. Please let us not forget those people.

      Sir Roger GALE (United Kingdom, Spokesperson for the European Conservatives Group) – May I, on behalf of my group, thank the rapporteurs for their hard work and for reports that reflect the realities of a very difficult and dangerous situation? I want to pick up immediately from paragraph 15 of Ms Zelienková’s resolution: “For its part, the Assembly could serve as a unique platform for dialogue…It regrets that it has so far been unable to play a natural part in parliamentary diplomacy, mainly due to the fact that Russian parliamentarians have not participated…for two consecutive years.”

      I know that there are those who would welcome the Russians back on their own terms and at any price, but we need to remind ourselves again, as the rapporteurs have done, of the reasons why the Russian delegation walked out of the Assembly. They did so because, following the illegal annexation of Crimea, and because of military activity in Donbass, the Assembly imposed very modest sanctions on their rights to vote and to participate in the work of the Bureau. Since that time, there has been virtually no attempt by Russia to meet its obligations under the Minsk agreement.

      There is a way forward. Russia must meet those obligations. It must stop equipping separatists in the east and use its influence to ensure that those separatists meet their Minsk obligations. Russia must withdraw all its forces, including from Crimea, because in this case Ukraine is the victim and Russia is the aggressor. Although Ukraine has its obligations, it is impossible for the Ukrainian Government to navigate legislation on complex political commitments while Ukrainian armed forces are still taking casualties and fatalities at the hands of the Russians and the separatists.

      It is clear that human rights standards are not being met. The Russian Federation must now allow immediate and unfettered access to internationally recognised human rights monitoring authorities, and declare void the results of illegal elections held in the occupied territory of what is another member State. The Assembly cannot and must not recognise Russia’s illegal annexation, and Russia must return Crimea to Ukraine.

      The Russians are seeking an assurance that if they submit their credentials in January, those credentials will not be challenged and their full rights will be restored. Those assurances cannot be forthcoming. Under the present circumstances, any Russian credentials will inevitably be challenged. I do not believe that this Assembly, notwithstanding the financial contribution that we know the Russians make at present to its upkeep, will allow itself to be bought and to permit a nation that is now also guilty of war crimes in Syria to rejoin a Council of Europe that is founded on the rule of international law and human rights.

      Mr HUNKO (Germany, Spokesperson for the Group of the Unified European Left)* – On the conflict in Ukraine and the situation in Crimea, there are two universes that seem to be moving further apart. One universe is that with which we have just been presented, but there is another. I am not saying that it is the correct version, but it does exist and it is the Russian view of the conflict. It is regrettable that this Assembly cannot have a proper debate, because the Russian delegation is not present.

      I have been to Russia and had discussions there. They say that, in 2014, President Yanukovych’s Government of Ukraine was illegally overthrown. That was a violation of the constitution and there was an uprising in Crimea. [Interruption.] Some people do not want to hear what I am saying, but I do not think that there is a great deal of interest in having an exchange. There was a referendum in Crimea and the majority voted to join the Russian Federation, and then there was a conflict in Donbass in Ukraine, which followed on from the coup d’état in Ukraine in 2014.

      I am not saying that that is the correct version of what happened; I am saying that there are two different versions and that this Assembly would be well advised to take account of both of them, so that we can have a proper debate. If we consider only one point of view, which is what is happening here, I fear that we will contribute to the escalation of the situation.

My impression is that the two reports are rather one-sided, and I have some examples to illustrate that with regard to the implementation of the Minsk agreements. At present, Minsk II is the most important instrument we have to de-escalate the crisis. Paragraph 8 of “Political consequences of the conflict in Ukraine” refers only to what the separatists and Russians have to implement; it makes no reference to what the Ukrainian side has to implement. That is important. The Minsk agreements relate to constitutional reform, which is supposed to provide a basis for the elections in Donbass, but the report does not refer to it.

I am concerned that this report will not help the work of the OSCE on negotiations relating to the Minsk agreement. We have to have a more balanced discussion. I fear that the amendments that suggest changing the report’s title so that it refers to Russian aggression would exacerbate the situation and that this could be a black day for this Assembly.

Mr BILLSTRÖM (Sweden) – I congratulate both rapporteurs on doing an excellent job in outlining all the challenges the Assembly faces in dealing with Russian aggression in Ukraine and the terrible and abominable violations of human rights and of the dignity of men, women and children who have been exposed to military aggression, ethnic cleansing and the deprivation of basic rights.

      The conflict in Ukraine is about to enter its third year with no resolution in sight. We still see no sign of compromise from Moscow. There is still no willingness to uphold the authority of the Minsk agreements. There is still no indication that the illegal annexation of Crimea will cease and the territory be returned.

      As the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, we are charged with an enormously important task, and it has been laid down in the report by Ms Zelienková. We have to guarantee that the values that the Assembly stands for are being upheld. Failure to do so would fatally compromise our credibility as guardian of those rights and values, and it could create a dangerous precedent.

      The lack of progress in the implementation of the Minsk agreements shows the seriousness of the situation on the ground, but it also points in the direction of the wider political aspects. How can we welcome representatives of the Russian Federation back into our midst if the country does not live up to the standards we have jointly set? How are things to change if the same State shows an absolute reluctance in this matter?

      I appreciate, as we all should, that the Ukrainian Government is fighting corruption and upholding legal safety for its citizens. That is emphasised in the other report presented here today, but for me and for the Swedish delegation, it is clear that the answer laid down in the reports points us in the direction of creating a clear, sensible and strong position. I encourage the members of this Assembly to vote in favour of adopting the reports to show how earnest we are in our commitment, our engagement and our resolve regarding Russian aggression in Ukraine and the ongoing conflict.

      Ms De SUTTER (Belgium) – Winning a battle does not mean you have won the war. War is something where all parties involved can only lose, even when the opponent has surrendered. Whichever party formally wins the Ukrainian conflict will only be left with a region in misery; with groups and minorities feeling oppressed, unrecognised and unjustly treated; with displaced families who want to regain their property and former life upon resettlement, but who often find that during the war their goods were redistributed to others; and with young people who live with the trauma of death, torture and rape. What do they gain from war in comparison to what was lost?

      We should call upon Russia and Ukraine to implement the Minsk agreements fully, to respect the cease-fires and to uphold human rights. It is dangerous to think that the end justifies the means in war situations and that international law, international monitoring systems and international compromises are insignificant compared with winning the conflict. Indeed, the conflict will continue for decades afterwards, perhaps frozen but always fuelled by feelings of injustice. We can minimise that only by minimising the atrocities on both sides.

      Ukraine needs to stop the illegal detention and torture of hundreds of individuals by the Ukrainian security services. Although we welcome the efforts already made by the Prosecutor General, Mr Lutsenko, in that regard, Ukraine needs to permit international and independent monitoring of SBU detention facilities. The judiciary needs to be strengthened, and the Treaty of Rome needs to be ratified. Reconciliation can only begin with truth and justice.

      Of course, first Russia needs to withdraw its troops and stop its military support so that Ukraine can uphold its promises in the Minsk agreements. Regional elections can only be successful when they take place in an atmosphere where people can vote with a free conscience. There can be no chance for regional autonomy so long as freedom of expression, freedom of assembly and freedom of religion and conscience are denied and minorities such as the Crimean Tatars are oppressed.

      Finally, the European Union needs to start thinking about how it can contribute to a wider peaceful Europe – a Europe where the European Union is a partner among partners, in constant dialogue with other parties near its borders. A wider European dialogue needs to be institutionalised in a more comprehensive way, particularly in economic and military matters. We need to create a table where Russia and other countries can influence important aspects of our continent’s future. A peaceful Europe will be a Europe where everyone prospers and where everyone has a voice, where everyone feels obliged to uphold international agreements and where interests and concerns are acted upon together. We need to do everything to make the Minsk agreements work, because our future together already started yesterday.

      Mr ARIEV (Ukraine) – I have said many of these things before, but first I thank Ms Zelienková and Ms Beck for very honest reports. However, it is just another report on Russia. I remind the Chamber of Resolution 2063 urged the Russian Federation to reverse the illegal annexation of Crimea, to refrain from harassing Crimean Tatars, to fully implement the Minsk agreements, to withdraw all troops from Ukrainian territory, to fully co-operate with the investigation into the downing of MH17, to ensure permanent Ukrainian-Russian control of the joint border, and to release all hostages, prisoners of war and illegally held people.

      What happened after that resolution? This summer, the declaration was accepted and the Russian Federation was called to join the dialogue. After that declaration, the situation with the illegal annexation of Crimea has deepened, because unlawful elections to the State Duma were held in the occupied territory. It is the first such case since the Second World War. It is another step in this continuing international crime of annexation. We have another problem, which is how to recognise the newly elected Duma.

      The result of the investigation into flight MH17 was completely rejected by the Russian Federation. The Mejlis of the Crimean Tatars has been banned completely by the highest Russian court. Then, just before this session started, the Russians arrested the journalist Roman Suschenko, who was a correspondent in Paris. Moscow is accusing him of espionage. Those examples give a clear answer on what we should do. As my colleague Sergiy Vlasenko has said, rephrasing the new popular song by Robbie Williams: “A dialogue like the Russians: no discussion”.

      All joking aside, we still have bloodshed. Talking has produced no results. Every day, people are wounded and killed. Yesterday, two soldiers were killed. There are 30 political prisoners in Moscow. There are more than 110 captives in occupied territories. If we allow Russia to come back without any preconditions, it would only be a matter of time before there were more crimes, and Russia would not be held responsible for them.

      The PRESIDENT – Mr Blanchart is not here, so I call Mr Herkel.

      Mr HERKEL (Estonia) – My deep feeling is that after the illegal annexation of Crimea and the war in eastern Ukraine, our Organisation is not the same as it was. The best thing we can do is to never compromise with new realities. There are other frozen conflicts, too, meaning that huge territories do not have justice or normal conditions where human rights are protected. Both of today’s reports are necessary and well done. I thank the rapporteurs for their important work.

      I emphasise one point that has already been emphasised today, which is the question of the Crimean Tatars. Earlier this year, the report initiated by the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, the so-called Stoudmann report, was criticised in many of its aspects by human rights defenders in Ukraine. It focuses on cases of repression targeted against individual opponents, and not so much on the collective repression policy against Crimean Tatars as an ethnic group. In the two reports we are handling today, your approach is unfortunately much more realistic, because the repression is targeted against the ethnic group as a whole. It is even the case that the traditional representative body of Crimean Tatars, the Mejlis, was banned as an “extremist organisation”. We can all imagine what kind of feeling it must be when your parliament is banned as an extremist organisation. Most of the Ukrainian prisoners in the Russian Federation are Crimean Tatars. I have here a brochure given to me by Nadiia Savchenko. Probably, one of the weak points in our work is how we protect the ethnic groups living in their own territories. Thank you again for this report – it is necessary and conclusions are adequate.

      Mr GONCHARENKO (Ukraine) – I want to say thank you very much to the two courageous women who prepared this report. It really takes courage to go where they have gone, to do what they have done, to see what they have seen, and to prepare this report. Thank you very much from everybody who believes in the values of the Council of Europe. These reports are not really about Ukraine; they are about the core values of the Council of Europe.

      Two years ago, here in this Chamber, I called Putin “Hitler”. Many people said, “Oh no, maybe that’s too much – we can’t speak this way”, but now many of them are coming to me and saying, “You were right.” In some things, Putin is even more impudent than Hitler was, because even Hitler did not think to himself that he could organise elections in an occupied territory. It is impossible to imagine elections to the Reichstag in occupied France, occupied Belgium, or occupied Poland, but Putin did it: he held elections in Crimea in the sovereign territory of Ukraine.

      The electoral system in Russia is mixed. Half the members of the parliament are elected in single-mandate constituencies. Four such constituencies were organised in Crimea. The four people elected are absolutely illegal. The other half of the Russian Parliament is elected from one common federal constituency, with votes from everywhere – from Vladivostok to Moscow to Kaliningrad, and now to Crimea. All those 225 members of the Russian Duma are also illegal, because it is impossible to take out from those votes the votes of Crimean people. Crimean Tatars – people who have lived there for centuries – boycotted those elections. Now we have a Russian Parliament, the State Duma, that is illegal because more than half its members are elected by party list and four people from constituencies. In other words, 299 out of 450 are illegal. Now we are told, “We need the Russians here.” So maybe we need to go to Putin and put a red carpet in front of him in order to take them inside this Chamber. No, I do not think so. We have illegal elections and an illegal State Duma, and we cannot co-operate with them, as in the case of any other democratic institution.

      Again, I thank the rapporteurs. I encourage everybody to support this report.

      The PRESIDENT – I would like to ask colleagues to refrain from hate speech. I do not think that comparing anyone to Hitler is correct or justified, so please remain from this kind of language. I call Mr Le Borgn’.

      M le BORGN’ (France)* – Thank you, Mr President, for that point of order, which is very useful in this context.

      Like many, I would like to speak out on the political consequences of the conflict in Ukraine. Perhaps you will allow me to spare a thought for the 10 000 people who have lost their lives, the more than 20 000 wounded, and the 1.5 million Ukrainians who have been forced to flee their homes. That is the reality of the conflict and something that we should never forget.

      Last summer, some of my fellow parliamentarians in France felt called upon to travel to Crimea in order to celebrate the Russian occupation. I deplore that. Your report, Ms Zelienková, reminds everyone, starting with Russia, of the need to respect Ukraine’s territorial integrity within internationally recognised borders. That of course includes Crimea, which is and remains, de jure, a part of Ukrainian territory. It is also true of Donbass, where it is essential that Russia cease its military support of separatist forces.

      Many of us here in this Chamber remind others time and again of the pre-eminence of the rule of law and the obligation to conform to the Statute of the Council of Europe. We should not lose sight of the fact that this conflict pits two member States one against the other. One would have liked to think that, a priori, that would exclude recourse to warring rhetoric. So what is the solution, then? It lies in strict adherence to the Minsk agreements, which cover almost everything: first and foremost, for Russia, a cease-fire and withdrawal from Ukrainian territory, but for Ukraine, reform of institutions, decentralisation, and the fight against corruption. Both Ukraine and Russia therefore have the respective road maps that have to be adhered to.

      I remain deeply concerned by violations of rights and freedoms in the regions affected by the conflict. I am thinking particularly of actions against independent media, harassment of opposition members, and repression of minorities, especially the Crimean Tatars. I am very worried that competent bodies of the Council of Europe are denied unimpeded access to the Crimean peninsula in order to complete their mission. We need to realise that no lasting peace will be possible if respect for human rights is blithely ignored. Intimidation will never help us build peace. Those who have perpetrated the most heinous crimes, ranging from murder to forced disappearance and torture, need to be brought to book. We need to be fair but also intransigent in building the future for Ukraine. That means that it must conform to all its obligations – those to do with the judicial system, for example – but it also means that investigations must be conducted into the tragic events that occurred in the Euromaidan and Odessa. Those investigations need to be able to proceed in due calm and in all impartiality.

      This Assembly is an unparalleled platform for dialogue where parliamentary democracy can come into its own. It is time for our Russian colleagues to return to Strasbourg, but without our sitting in judgment on the past or storing up our grievances. That is important, because our exchanges can contribute to resolving this conflict.

      Ms L OVOCHKINA (Ukraine) – I thank both rapporteurs for their timely reports. I welcome the fact that they have paid sufficient attention to the human rights issues on uncontrolled territories as well as on Ukrainian territory, and to internally displaced persons. It is also welcome that the reports stress the necessity of having only – I underline “only” – a peaceful solution of the conflict in eastern Ukraine. The only peaceful route we have at the moment is through the Minsk Protocol. There is Russian aggression, weapons and troops that have not been withdrawn and no sustainable cease-fire, but there is also another threat to the Minsk process. I have to state now, in this Assembly, that there is no political will in the Ukrainian Parliament to adopt the necessary legislation. There is still demand for escalation of the conflict in the east among certain Ukrainian political leaders. The war is needed to distract the Ukrainian public from ongoing corruption, a lack of reform and the failure in economic policies that has led to the poverty of the Ukrainian people.

      I also welcome the fact that the Committee on Political Affairs and Democracy has adopted amendments that express deep concern about the pressure and attacks on political opposition and independent media and call on the Ukrainian authorities to follow international democratic standards in that regard. I hope the Assembly will support the amendments.

      In conclusion, we should distinguish between Russian-Ukrainian relations and the situation in Ukraine and speak openly about the problems and challenges that Ukrainian democracy faces at the moment.

(Ms Gambaro, Vice-President of the Assembly, took the Chair in place of Mr Agramunt.)

      Ms GERASHCHENKO (Ukraine)* – Every day, there are new victims in Ukraine. Since September alone, 13 members of the Ukrainian military have been killed and more than 60 have been wounded. The terrorists have not respected the cease-fire for a single day. The Russian Federation pushes back on the slightest idea of controlling the Ukrainian-Russian frontier and giving it over to the Ukrainian authorities. Over the 400 kilometres of non-controlled frontier, Russia continues to arm pro-Russian separatists. Today, there are more than 40 000 terrorists of whom more than 6 000 are members of the Russian military.

      International humanitarian missions do not have any access to occupied territories. A few days ago, the so-called primaries took place in the occupied territories of the Donbass. That parody was organised without the participation of observers, media or Ukrainian political parties. Internally displaced persons do not have the right to take part in those polls. Separatist forces have declared that from now on, only participants in the primaries will be able to run in possible future elections.

      Russia and the terrorists still hold prisoners and are capturing new ones. There are still 110 prisoners in the occupied territories. Last summer in Crimea, the Russian special services captured and tortured Yevhen Panov. We do not have any information on what has become of him. Some Crimean Tatar leaders have also been imprisoned, including Ilmi Umerov in particular, who has been subject to Stalinist oppressive medical treatment.

      On 30 September, Roman Sushchenko was arrested in Moscow under false accusations of espionage. Why is Russia capturing new prisoners? The answer is simple: for horse trading and blackmail with the entire international community to exchange them against lifting sanctions. It is certain that Russia has no wish to implement the wishes of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe or the Minsk agreements. Russia is blocking the adoption of United Nations Security Council resolutions on the creation of an international tribunal on MH17 and on the Syrian issue.

       The Ukrainian delegation expresses its extreme protest against any attempt to justify Russia’s aggressive policy. We are in favour of strengthening international pressure on Russia and strengthening the sanctions regime.

      Ms DURRIEU (France)* – I thank the rapporteurs. They have reminded us of how events took place from Vilnius to the Maidan and about the association agreements with Europe that sparked off the whole process. Those events led to the annexation of Crimea, which is clearly a violation of the integrity and sovereignty of a State and of international agreements. It is simply the violation of peace in Europe.

      We need at least to recognise the power of the Minsk agreements on three different levels. There is the relative cease-fire and also, for the first time on this issue, Europe has made progress together, through France, Germany and Poland – the Weimar triangle – and the Normandy format. They obliged Putin to negotiate. It is the first time that Europe has stood up to Putin, who has been obliged to accept that. He had no partners, except for the United States, and I entirely agree with everyone who said that the Minsk agreements have unfortunately been blocked. That has all the consequences you might imagine concerning the sanctions that we see in Ukraine and Russia and which we all feel. They are now dividing Europe.

      Putin is strong because we are weak. He is destabilising and controls the Donbass and Syria. He is running the game everywhere, but he is not going to go to Paris. He will not be opening a new Orthodox church in the centre of the capital as he wanted to because France wants to negotiate and re-establish a dialogue for peace in Ukraine and in Syria.

      I say to the Ukrainians here that conditions are difficult for you. In Europe, we see that you have benefited from support, but we do not feel that there is the will to implement the reforms, as was previously stated. There is not the will to break the back of corruption. The idea was to have a new road map – well, let us define a strategy for the future of the region and that can be put in the report. Does that perhaps mean accepting the status quo? That idea seems to be gaining ground and it seems to suit everyone, but we have to refuse it. Those are the conclusions of the report.

      Mr NISSINEN (Sweden) – As I read the two excellent reports before us today, I was struck by their understandable frustration with the stagnant, frozen situation in Crimea and eastern Ukraine. I could sense the rapporteurs’ impatience but in no way did I find any resignation in their highly interesting proposals.

      Although the rapporteurs urge both sides in the conflict – Russia and Ukraine – to do more to find agreement with each other, the bulk of the criticism is naturally enough directed at the Russian Federation. They draw attention to the vital importance of restoring Ukraine’s territorial integrity. They point to the violation of fundamental international law that was committed by Russia in annexing Crimea and draw attention to Russia’s seemingly unceasing military support of the insurgent forces in eastern Ukraine. They also deplore the failure to do more to implement the Minsk agreements, especially in respect of enabling the population in eastern Ukraine under insurgent control to lead more secure and dignified lives.

      Ms Zelienková’s report takes up the wider damage to Europe stemming from the tragic conflict between two major Council of Europe member States and how it sows tension across our entire membership area. The reports go to great lengths in recommending small but important steps forward, such as Ms’ Beck’s various suggested measures to restore the traditional rights of the Crimean Tatars.

      Our Organisation was created to protect human rights, democracy and the rule of law. Those values are suffering greatly in the regions concerned, as is abundantly clear in the two reports. We must honour those values and fully heed the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights’ final call on us to “continue observing the human rights situation in the conflict zone in the Donbass and in Crimea as a matter of priority.”

      Mr DOWNE (Canada, Observer) – I thank colleagues for the opportunity to say a few words about these very good reports, which illustrate the numerous ongoing challenges that the Ukraine crisis has created for the international community due to the Russian Government’s inability to respect and abide by international laws and agreements. We are all too familiar with the state of public institutions in Russia, where the democratic hopes raised by the collapse of communism have been overwhelmed by a quarter century of corruption masquerading as a free market and repression standing in for governance. That has created an uncertain and volatile environment for Russia’s neighbours, including the former Soviet republics. People also often forget that Russia is Canada’s northern neighbour. As the reports state, other countries are reconsidering their relationship with Russia in light of its blatant challenge to post-Soviet borders in Ukraine.

      The destabilising repercussions of Russia’s actions are many. For Canada, a NATO country, such geopolitical shifts are significant and full of economic, political and security considerations. The fact remains that the security situation on the ground in Ukraine continues to deteriorate and resolving the conflict is of paramount importance to peace and stability across the world. The European Union’s decision to extend economic sanctions against Russia until the end of January 2017 is necessary. Canada has also been consistent having imposed a broad range of economic sanctions. We remain fundamentally opposed to the actions of the Russian Government.

      In conclusion, the coming months will be crucial in determining the outcome of the conflict. The strength of the international community will once again be put to the test. By working side by side, we will prevail in reaching a peaceful and diplomatic solution. As always, Canada can be counted as a strong supporter of her allies.

      Mr SOBOLEV (Ukraine) – I too thank our rapporteurs. This excellent work follows our previous resolutions. Taken with the amendments that were supported by the Committee on Political Affairs and Democracy and the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights, this is the best work that we have done in the past six months.

      However, I heard a lot about the investigation of processes in Ukraine, without which we cannot answer many questions. I heard that we did not investigate the Euromaidan, but we did investigate it. Some of the so-called “Berkut” – an official terrorist group – which killed people in Maidan are now in prison and court proceedings have commenced, but we want to answer more questions than just “Who did the shooting?” We want to know who gave the order. Perhaps we can ask Mr Putin to investigate together with Yanukovych, a minister of internal affairs, a defence minister or the leader of the secret services during the period, all of whom are now hiding in Moscow with citizenship of the Russian Federation. Perhaps we can ask Mr Girkin, the first so-called leader of the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic, who is a Russian citizen and who had a bloody experience in the territory of the sovereign Republic of Moldova in the so-called Transnistria republic. We could ask such people or we could ask Mr Putin directly.

      This is not a conflict inside Ukraine; it is a Russian war against Ukraine. If someone wants to argue that there was no process of reform in Ukraine and that we can therefore allow someone to conquer another territory, that is a problem for not only Ukraine, but Moldova, Georgia and Syria. Putin is attempting to rebuild military bases in Egypt, Syria, Vietnam and Cuba. That points to the need for a new world order. We need new negotiations. We can only imagine what would happen if Russian, American or British planes were shot at in Syria. The process needs to solve all the main issues. I thank the rapporteurs once again. We will support the reports.

      Ms MIKKO (Estonia) – Today’s debate is important, serious and principled. Ms Kristýna Zelienková’s report rightly states that the conflict in Ukraine and the Russian Federation’s actions have undermined overall European stability and security. That has obviously triggered a reaction, examples of which include the outcomes of the NATO summit in Warsaw, such as strengthening the alliance’s military presence in the East, including in Estonia.

      Russian aggression in Ukraine has had had other political consequences for Estonia, including having to fight Russian propaganda, strengthening policies to make the Russian population more receptive to Ukrainian refugees, and increasing humanitarian aid. The economic consequences are crystal clear. The sanctions on Russia have forced many Estonian businesses to find alternative markets. The sanctions have hit the tourism sector hard, but values come first. My country, which is currently chairing the Council of Europe, has strong feelings about value-based politics, because we believe that that is a solid base strategy. All the rest is tactics.

      One idea in the reports deserves special emphasis: as long as the annexation of Crimea has not been reversed, there can be no return to business as usual in our relations with the Russian Federation. That idea is at the heart of the two reports and everything else should come from keeping that in mind. That is why I was very much in favour in committee of the amendment to paragraph 13 of the resolution, which would insert “However, international pressure, including sanctions, must be maintained until Russian aggression has ceased and the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognised borders has been fully restored.” It is extremely important that we insist on that.

      I thank the excellent rapporteurs – two women – for their good, determined work and for two historic reports.

      Mr FOURNIER (France)* – The situations in Crimea and Donbass continue to deteriorate. The lack of progress in the implementation of the Mink agreement means that it is difficult to imagine a speedy conclusion to the crisis. Russian forces continue to occupy Crimea despite protests and the violation of international law. The elections organised by separatists are being supported by the Russian Federation, which also violates international law and is an unacceptable violation of the territorial integrity of Ukraine. We are also seeing increasing human rights violations in the occupied territories. The Crimean Tatars are being oppressed severely and, unfortunately, the situation is not improving for anyone. Examples of torture and extra-judicial execution continue, which the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights and the OSCE have identified.

      Confronted with such an alarming situation, what must we do? First, we must stand by our values. The election in Crimea, in violation of international agreements, ignored existing borders. It is vital for us to see change, so sanctions can be lifted. Dialogue with Russia remains necessary, but we must only find a peaceful solution. We must continue negotiations to guarantee implementation of the Minsk agreement and that human rights are properly implemented. The Council of Europe and our Assembly must remain a forum for exchange.

      The situation of the Russian delegation needs to be reviewed, but only if the Russians are prepared to find a peaceful solution to the crisis. There is also the issue of displaced people, of whom there are an estimated 500 000. The Ukrainian authorities need to facilitate administrative procedures so that displaced people may access social services. Ukraine has suffered a great deal as a result of the conflict, but with the help of the Council of Europe it will be able to pursue its reforms to overcome corruption and to implement the Minsk agreement. The adoption of European standards is something for which political will is required, and that may only be demonstrated through legislation. We look forward to progress being made.

      Mr WILSON (United Kingdom) – I welcome the report and the work put into it by the rapporteurs. The political consequences of Russia’s aggression in Ukraine are immense, not only in the region, but around the world. Russia must withdraw troops from the territory of Ukraine, and the Assembly must continue to stand by its commitment to the achievement of a peaceful settlement there and the restoration of Ukraine’s territorial integrity.

      Russia’s actions have destabilised the whole region and the country’s relations with the rest of Europe. The sanctions against Russia are hurting its economy, but it still tries to deflect attention from its actions in Ukraine by military action elsewhere, which does nothing to raise its standing in the international community. Russia’s approach seems to reflect a world view that can be expressed as, “Only the strong prosper.”

      Russia has moved nuclear missiles to Kaliningrad and massed military forces in the Baltic region. Russia, I am afraid to say, has shown complete disregard for international law and is trying to redraw the maps of the region through the threat of force. Its actions in Syria have helped to distract from the situation in Ukraine, but have also gone further than that. President Putin at first said that Russian action was an attack on Islamic fundamentalism and Daesh; rather than that alone, the Russians are obviously prepared to do anything, and to go to any length, to maintain their military base in Syria, which gives them access to the Mediterranean, even if that means supporting Assad, who was intent on slaughtering his own people to preserve his own position of power. Russia is complicit in that. Its actions are indiscriminate, especially in Aleppo, and have included the destruction of an aid convoy. Russia’s actions have been called a war crime by observers.

      I have been to Baghdad, and I have seen the coalition’s military options and how they are deployed so as to ensure the minimum number of civilian casualties. As for the United Kingdom, there have been no reports of any Syrian deaths as a result of our action. That cannot be said of Russian actions, or those of Assad. Ukraine, Kaliningrad, Syria and other fields of action are at the moment a threat to international stability in several regions around the world. Russia’s flouting of international law should be denounced. The Assembly’s responsibility is to defend human rights, democracy and the rule of law, so we must stand firm against Russia over the Ukrainian situation.

      Mr DZHEMILIEV (Ukraine)* – Following the Russian Federation’s occupation of Crimea in February 2014 and the beginning of the Russian military incursion in the Donbass, the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly has adopted several resolutions and declarations against aggression and in support of people who find themselves in occupied zones. We have called on the Russian Federation to withdraw from Crimea, to protect the rights of residents of regions now ruled by people loyal to Russia, and to stop the murder and abduction of people living in Russian territory. Russia should also allow the international monitoring group into the occupied territories. To date, nothing like that has been implemented or even accepted by the aggressor.

      Crimea has been occupied for a long time. Russia is not preparing to withdraw from Crimea; instead, it is building a large military base, which will be a threat to the whole Black Sea region. At the same time, the Russian Federation continues to oppress the Crimean Tatar people and is sending Russian citizens into the Crimean peninsula. Those actions are violations of the Geneva Convention on the status of occupied territories – indeed, they are war crimes.

      The Russians continue to refuse to allow international organisations entry to monitor the human rights situation in the occupied zones. In the occupation, we are seeing real violations of Ukrainian legislation and real things going on, but we then see the picture painted by the Russian authorities of people living wonderful lives in the occupied zones. Freedom and security in occupied Crimea simply do not exist. The situation there reminds us of when Stalin was in control. In fact, I would say that the situation is now worse. When Stalin was in power, people were not simply murdered or abducted from the streets.

      As a result of the illegal elections, bandits now sit in the State Duma – people who have murdered others – and some in the Chamber suggest that such people can come here to take part in this Assembly. That is simply not acceptable. I have no doubt that the draft resolution that we adopt today will also be ignored by the Russian Federation, but it is nevertheless vital for that resolution to be adopted. I am grateful to the two rapporteurs for their superb reports. I would like to be able to deal with a civilised country, but that is simply not the case at the moment.

      Ms SAVCHENKO (Ukraine)* – I want to speak to everyone present today so that we all understand what we are discussing and who we are dealing with. Many people only want to see Russia from its best side, but it is important to understand that all those countries around Russia – Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Ukraine and Belarus – experience the consequence of totalitarian regimes, which it is difficult for us to deal with. Many of those countries are in Europe, and we are trying to move on from our past, but it is difficult for us to achieve our goals.

If anyone wants to understand what is happening in the Donbass region, I have been in those occupied territories recently and talked to people who live there. They understand the Russia that they are dealing with, and about 70% of them want the situation to end. They want to go to Ukraine, but they cannot. The so-called Donetsk People’s Republic is run by Russian officers. People serve in the Russian army because the situation in the region is very poor, and they have to eat and to feed their families. This country is being controlled by the Russian Federation, as it was at the time of the Soviet Union.

      Europe needs to change the tone of its language. Russia will not listen to the tolerant language that is being used, because it is not something that it understands. The Russians fear nothing. I am speaking to you as a Ukrainian and a European, and you must understand and believe me. There is resistance there. You need to stand up for the values that you believe in. Letting the Russians back into the Parliamentary Assembly is simply not acceptable. You need to listen to civilised people. Russians are not part of our Europe and we cannot allow them to come back here.

      Mr MULARCZYK (Poland) – After almost two years of military conflict in Ukraine, it is clear that the actions of the Russian Federation have undermined the global system of security and led to the political and economic destabilisation of Ukraine. The approach promoted by Russia of blurring the difference between victim and perpetrator – placing Ukraine on an equal footing with Russia and making it jointly responsible for resolving the conflict in Donbass – should be considered dangerous. The so-called separatists are supported and effectively controlled by the Russian Federation. Acceptance of Russia’s actions may have dramatic results for security in Europe and the rest of the world. If Russia is successful, it will suggest to other countries that a stronger country can do more than a weaker one, and that the stronger country is always right.

      The Russian Federation’s strategic aim is not only to make Ukraine into a zone of exclusive Russian influence, but to implement the Russian Federation’s vision of the international order. Therefore, Russian policy towards Ukraine makes building stronger Ukrainian statehood impossible, and counteracts Ukraine’s integration with the West. Russia’s aims are achieved by intensifying conflict in Donbass and strengthened by widespread propaganda, as well as by the attitudes of the so-called realists who express the need for a dialogue with Russia and discredit so-called Russophobes. Russia highlights that ignoring their position can lead to widespread military conflict.

      Because of the strategic value of the issue, Russia is not ready to make concessions and will continue to use various instruments to put pressure on Ukraine, Western countries and members of the Council of Europe. With its policy towards Ukraine, Russia aims to break the solidarity of the European Union, NATO and international society and to paralyse the State of Ukraine. The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe should, therefore, condemn Russia’s actions. In solidarity, it should also support Ukrainian efforts to introduce necessary reforms to build democratic and stable State institutions, respecting the rule of law. The proposed state reforms in Ukraine in the report of the Committee on Political Affairs and Democracy, prepared by Ms Kristýna Zelienková, should be considered proper and suitable. If they are consistently implemented, they will make it possible to stop external aggression and re-establish law and order in Ukraine.

      Mr YEMETS (Ukraine) – Today, we are discussing two resolutions that clearly demonstrate that there have been huge violations of human rights in the occupied territories of Ukraine. That is the sad truth. Civilians who remain there have no freedom, and their life and health, as well as those of their families, are in constant danger. A Russian soldier or a local terrorist can do anything he wants using violence. He can rob, rape, kill or cripple, and he will not be punished. After all, these occupied territories have no rule of law, but rather the rule of the jungle. The one who is stronger – the one who has the gun – is right.

      I was, therefore, very surprised to hear yesterday the President of France, Mr Hollande, offer Ukraine the opportunity to hold elections in the occupied territories. That is in contravention of the Minsk agreement, according to which, l remind colleagues, elections are possible only after the withdrawal of Russian troops and the disarmament of terrorists – not before – and after achieving a stable cease-fire and resolving the issues with the security situation. But a cease-fire between the Ukrainian and Russian armies in no way solves the problem with human rights in the occupied territories. What kind of election will it be? It will be under the guns. The leaders of armed terrorist gangs will win this election. They will use violence and threats to force frightened people to vote for them. Is this a democracy? Is this freedom of choice?

      Mr Hollande, it seems, offers to sell millions – 2 million, to be exact – of our Ukrainian citizens into slavery, and to legitimise through so-called elections the right of Russian terrorists to own these hostages by force. I cannot understand how European leaders can call on Ukraine to forfeit the basic values of European society: the protection of the rights and freedoms of every person. The State of Ukraine promised to protect every one of its citizens and their rights. That was and will be our main priority.

      Mr LOZOVOY (Ukraine) – Dear members of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, I hope you understand that we, the citizens of Ukraine, have a better understanding than others of what is actually happening in our Ukrainian Crimea and our Ukrainian Donbass. Any of you who does not openly call Russia the aggressor is not just compromising their conscience; you share the responsibility for the murder of Ukrainian soldiers and volunteers, the killing of civilians, the occupation of the territory in the tradition of Hitler, and the destruction of infrastructure in Donbass. Are you ready to answer for the crimes of Putin, Mr Agramunt? If not, why do you want to return the Russian delegation by any means?

      Let us not be afraid to tell the truth. Putin is a killer, and he is responsible for the rivers of bloodshed in Ukraine and Syria. The whole civilised world must unite in a real fight to counter the aggressor, rather than following the path of appeasement and making concessions to him in the way that Daladier and Chamberlain made concessions to Hitler. Unfortunately, Mr Hollande’s statement yesterday shows that the French President follows Daladier and considers it necessary to concede to Putin. According to Mr Hollande, it is necessary to hold elections in Donbass, and only after that to restore the borders of Ukraine. That is a big mistake.

      I am a member of the radical party Oleh Liashko and we say no to elections in Donbass. How can people vote under the muzzles of guns? It will be the same circus as the so-called referendum in Crimea. If you support holding elections in Donbass before the borders are restored, you support Putin’s plan to destroy Ukraine. In this way, Putin is trying to legalise terrorism. Is this what the European community wants to do – to legalise terrorists? Are you not ashamed to seek to please Putin instead of requiring the immediate release of Ukrainian political prisoners in Russia – Mykola Karpyuk, Stanislav Klyh, Oleg Sentsov, Alexander Kolchenko and others? The path of appeasing aggressors is the path to the self-destruction of Europe. Can you understand this at last?

I also draw attention to the blatant abuse of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kiev Patriarchate on the territory controlled by Russian authorities. Yesterday at the round table in Crimea, Bishop Clement gave clear evidence of how members of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church are persecuted in Crimea and a Ukrainian church is to be destroyed following the decision of the local court in Noginsk near Moscow.

      Mr Don DAVIES (Canada, Observer) – I acknowledge the work of Ms Zelienková and thank her for her detailed analysis of the Ukrainian conflict and its broader consequences. Her report illustrates the need for all countries involved to consider the impact of their respective and collective decisions and actions. Serious concerns continue to be raised about the parties’ inability to respect and fully implement the provisions of the Minsk peace process, as well as their failure to achieve a diplomatic solution to the issues involved. We all recognise that the ongoing conflict in Ukraine has destabilised the security equilibrium that has persisted in Europe since the Cold War. The annexation of Crimea by Russia is a clear violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. No nation among us would accept such an alienation of our border.

      It is equally true that NATO’s expansion through Eastern Europe and the Baltic States has had consequences as well. The West’s courting of countries sensitive to Russian security interests – indeed, often adjacent to Russia itself – must be considered when analysing Russian actions in Ukraine and other post-Soviet countries such as Moldova and Georgia. Few among us would not feel threatened or fail to advance our security interests in similar circumstances. We must always insist on the principle that sovereign States have the right to have their territory inalienably respected and to decide their own future, including their own foreign policy, free from outside interference. At the same time, the international community must recognise that the security concerns and interests of others cannot simply be ignored or discarded when we pursue those liberties.

      We live in a global world, interconnected as never before. Our actions impact on each other in an unprecedented fashion. In this respect, lines of communication must remain open to increase transparency, avoid misunderstanding and prevent tensions. We must not forget that a peaceful resolution, obtained through political dialogue and negotiation, is the goal we all wish to achieve in every international disagreement. In fact, it is the raison d’ętre of this Chamber. In this spirit, every diplomatic effort must be deployed to ensure the success of the Minsk peace process. Our success will depend on our willingness to examine the impacts of our own actions and respect the legitimate interests of every nation involved.

Mr VAREIKIS (Lithuania) – Today we have two reports with “Ukraine” in their title but almost everyone has spoken about Russia. It is a little strange but I will follow suit and also speak about Russia because all the problems in the reports relate to it. We face the question of whether to invite Russia to this forum or not. Generally, my answer is that if you want to invite Russia you must take into account that today it is diagnosed with three political sicknesses, which I shall list.

The first is that Russia wants to be respected because it looks dangerous. We want to respect countries that look lovely, peaceful and democratic, but Russia wants to be respected because it is dangerous. It has nuclear capacity and troops that could one day be like little green men attacking one country or another.

The second diagnosis derives from the first: Russia thinks that the Soviet Union was the golden age of its existence. Many people here – Lithuanians, Latvians, Poles, Estonians, Czechs and Bulgarians – think of it as a black time in their history, so we cannot agree with that. The Soviet dinosaur died a few decades ago and the restoration of this Jurassic period is not healthy political behaviour.

I call the third sickness “geopolitical kleptomania”. Russia is a country that always takes if something is not very well guarded. In the 1940s it took the Baltic States. Later it took something from Japan, then something from Moldova and then something from Georgia. Now it has taken something from Ukraine. The kleptomania must be healed before Russia can come here. Unfortunately, today we must speak about Ukraine because it is the main victim of all three Russian diseases.

My friends, we must not only support and adopt these reports but also try to implement the ideas inside them.

Mr ZINGERIS (Lithuania) – I thank Ms Beck and Ms Zelienková for a clear reason. We have seen Russian aggression against Ukraine. At the last meeting of the Committee on Political Affairs and Democracy, a majority of its members decided to support the amendments tabled by the rapporteur.

Let us go back some years. The Ukrainians have just celebrated Mr Ariev’s exhibition to mark 25 years since the restoration of Ukraine’s independence. The pictures were about the integrity of the country and new European trends and innovations, as Secretary General Jagland said. It was a country that was trying to be European and was supposed to be European following the struggle of the past 25 years. A few years ago, on 28 November, with Lithuania chairing the European Union, Mr Yanukovych was invited to sign an agreement with European Union. Mr Poroshenko and Mr Klitschko came with Yanukovych. When Mr Yanukovych said no to the European Union association agreement, they said yes in our Lithuanian Parliament and the Maidan started. After the Maidan came punishment in the form of the Russian occupation of and aggression against Ukraine.

Ukraine was punished for what? It was punished for choosing the European path. That is the key question. The aggression started when people from Ukraine tried to sign up to a relationship with the European Union. We must bear in mind that we have two European Union neighbourhoods: the south neighbourhood of Tunisia and other Arab countries and the eastern neighbourhood of Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia. Our eastern neighbourhood of the European Union has just stated that the desired civilisational relations of Moldova, Ukraine and Georgia are crystal clear: they would like to be members of our European Union society.

      If a war starts and the Ukrainian people choose to be Europeans, Europeans should be together with them in all their deeds and try to protect their independence, territorial integrity and the people’s right to self-determination in respect of their European choice. That is our main goal in this Chamber, and that will be our answer to Russian aggression – and I support all the amendments just settled in the Committee on Political Affairs and Democracy.

      Mr KIRAL (Ukraine) – I thank the two rapporteurs, whose comments have triggered some reflections that I would like to share with colleagues. In the period between this and the last part-session there have been many events which have prompted many questions. Is Europe going to stand? Will there be bargaining between Russia and different countries and political groups, and what will be the result? Will Russia get away with its war crimes with no punishment?

      Europe’s ambivalence stems from its idealism and inclusive dialogue and all 47-State approach, versus realism, which can only define what is happening as Russian aggression and a Russian war on Ukraine. But is it only on Ukraine? Equilibrium is important, but not at the expense of closing our eyes to major violations of basic principles and human rights.

      At the beginning of this session, it was worrying to observe some, like merchants in the grand bazaar, trading and talking about national interests, as if saying, “We need to do something different, because it is good for our people either to address the Syrian war or to decrease natural gas prices.” Let me remind you that the last period when nations followed this path ended up in the Second World War and dozens of millions of victims. Collective security bodies and assemblies are replacing the approach which has ensured more than 60 years of peace and stability in Europe.

      After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia was invited to join, but with Putin as president, it rejected numerous calls for co-operation with NATO and other bodies. It chose an aggressive path and the revival of the Cold War, and sought domination in the wider political dialogue, including through intimidation of neighbours, smaller nations and other peoples throughout the world to make the democratic West react and call for dialogue. In the military arena, when a regiment is attacked it does not engage in trading and bargaining with the aggressor; it fights back. Our response to such situations cannot be appeasement. Tacit deals will not lead to defeating the aggressor.

      In steps such as locating ballistic missiles in Kaliningrad, illegally militarising annexed Ukrainian Crimea – including with nuclear warheads – arresting journalists, and banning a Ukrainian Orthodox church near Moscow, do we see any traces of a will to enter dialogue?

      When we are having these debates, I call on colleagues to keep in mind this bigger picture. Russia infringes not only on Ukraine, but strives to begin a proxy war for the domination of eastern despotism over western democracy and the rule of law. This is a war for domination, and Ukraine is in the centre of it.

      Mr DİŞLİ (Turkey)* – Recent developments in Ukraine do not concern Ukraine alone, but affect the Black Sea region in general, because they pose a threat to peace and stability across the region. The sovereignty and unity of Ukraine have been violated and international law and conventions have been broken. Having said that, we need to try and find a solution on the basis of dialogue and reconciliation. The legitimate rights of the Tatars of Crimea have been neglected. The national assembly of the Crimean Tatars has been prohibited, which is an extremely serious development; the rapporteur made the point that that is intolerable. My country hopes the Crimean Tatars can live in peaceful coexistence with the other peoples of the region, and we will do what we can to help them.

      We should strive to implement the Minsk agreement, but since 2015 there have been repeated violations of the cease-fire in Donbass and elsewhere. We see repeated clashes in the area and thousands of people have lost their lives: some 9 300 people have been killed as a result of these clashes since April 2014. We need to put an end to this conflict as soon as possible, therefore, and to do so peacefully, using international law. We must redouble our efforts to that end.

      Another dimension we perhaps fail to see is that people living in this region have had their rights violated as well. Ms Beck, the rapporteur, has done an excellent job of work on this subject. People must be able to enjoy their rights once again and the conflict must cease. We must make sure the rights of all victims are respected, and use the legal machinery available to us to that end. That is the duty of us all. There is no alternative to that

      All parties must remember the fundamental values which should guide them, and our Assembly should act as a guide, with its recommendations, which I hope will be taken into consideration.

      Ms HOFFMANN (Hungary)* – As several speakers have said, this is not the first time that the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe has dealt with the conflict in Ukraine in a bid to find a democratic solution to what is becoming an increasingly complex state of affairs. Hungary is one of Ukraine’s western neighbours, which is why we are extremely keen on, and involved in, finding a peaceful solution to this conflict. We will work for the independence and territorial integrity of Ukraine, as we believe that only a democratic Ukraine with stable, effective, responsible institutions can prosper and thereby guarantee stability and security across Europe.

      Ms Zelienková’s report on the political consequences of the conflict in Ukraine calls on the Ukrainian authorities to put in place a series of measures to put an end to outside aggression and find a peaceful solution to the problem. We should emphasise that we appreciate the efforts Ukraine has made so far and it should continue with them until it has genuinely achieved peace and democracy and made sure human rights and the freedom of each and every individual and national community are respected.

      A lot of historical minorities live alongside one another in Ukraine and have done for many years, including Russians, Romanians, Bulgarians, Serbs, Roma, Ruthenians and Slovaks, along with 150 000-plus Hungarians. Most of them are in most cases able to use their mother tongues, but are nevertheless in a vulnerable situation. For Ukraine to genuinely become a free, democratic and multicultural country, all its peoples must be afforded protection by the State and have greater opportunities in education, the labour market and political life. I hope Ukraine achieves that as soon as possible.

      Ms PALIHOVICI (Republic of Moldova) – I congratulate the rapporteurs on successfully undertaking the difficult task of analysing such a complex topic. It has placed on their shoulders the even greater responsibility of uniting voices and opinions on behalf of the entire Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, while reflecting the de facto situation in the country.

On behalf of the Republic of Moldova, which borders Ukraine, I express my deepest regret that the security situation has not improved. Moreover, in the absence of a sustainable cease-fire, there has been no progress in implementing the Minsk agreement. I realise that such a complicated task lies on the collective shoulders of many political and geopolitical actors and international partners on one hand, and of the Ukrainian authorities and the Russian Federation on the other; there can be no unilateral ownership of the resolution of this conflict. None the less, we collectively express our support for a peaceful solution to the conflict and call on the Russian Federation to withdraw its troops from Ukrainian and Moldovan territory and stop sending supplies to the separatists.

We should seek and exert more solidarity and vocal pressure for the immediate peaceful settlement of disputes, focusing on the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine. The report describes accurately the political consequences of the conflict in Ukraine, but I emphasise that it has political consequences both for Ukraine and for overall stability and security in Europe. My question is this: do we need further escalation of the violence, which has dangerous consequences for civilians living in the conflict area? Do we need another frozen conflict in the region? Do we need more insecurity in Europe? No, we definitely do not, either as separate nations or as a continent. That is why we must consolidate our efforts so that such dangerous precedents do not multiply.

The report describes signs of increasing Russian involvement in the two separatist entities in Donbass. This could indicate that Russia’s long-term objective is to consolidate its position there for geopolitical reasons. It did something similar two decades ago in the Republic of Moldova and in 2008 in Georgia. Ukraine is the main victim of the conflict and has lost Donbass, its most industrialised region. A similar tactic was used in Transnistria, which was also the most industrialised part of the Republic of Moldova.

Is there really a civil war in the eastern regions of Ukraine, or is it a facet of a hybrid version of the Cold War struggle between Russia and the West, this time on Ukrainian territory? We can all see clearly that aggression against Ukraine marks a shift in Russian foreign policy and has caused even more division within the European Union. That is why I call on all member States to stay more united in solidarity against such acts.

Mr WHALEN (Canada, Observer) – Thank you for allowing me to address the Assembly as an Observer, Madam President. I thank the rapporteur for her compelling work on legal remedies for human rights violations in Ukraine. I echo the sentiment that we are deeply worried about the human rights of people of Crimea, in the self-proclaimed People’s Republics of Donetsk and Lugansk and indeed in the entire Donbass region. The Assembly has stated in various resolutions that the annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation and the military invasion of eastern Ukraine by Russian forces violate international law and the Council of Europe’s fundamental principles. Other Canadian parliamentarians have also supported that reaffirmed position on different occasions before this Assembly, and the House of Commons of the Parliament of Canada has also routinely pledged its support to Ukraine and the Ukrainian people.

I commend the rapporteur on not falling into the trap of blaming one belligerent in a way that keeps the international community from understanding the complexity of the conflict. Indeed, the report recalls the responsibilities incumbent on all parties involved in the conflict. My concern is for the people suffering from the lack of human rights and for the psychological effects not only on them but on society as a whole on all sides of the conflict.

As the Russian Federation exercises de facto control over Crimea, the DPR and the LPR, we call on the Russian Federation to protect and preserve the human rights of peoples in those regions and prosecute human rights abuses. As Ukraine exercises control of the rest of its territory, we call upon Ukraine to adhere fully and independently to the European Convention on Human Rights. As acknowledged by the committee in certain amendments to the report, Ukraine is moving in the correct direction in this regard.

I agree with the report’s statement that the European Convention on Human Rights also sets out the most appropriate legal regime to protect victims of alleged human rights violations in the parts of Ukraine territory currently under Russian Federation control. Canadians hold the European Convention on Human Rights in particularly high regard, as it is one of the international instruments that inspired the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which forms part of our constitution. The Convention has been referred to multiple times by our own highest court, the Supreme Court of Canada. It is also fair, in our opinion, that people should enjoy human rights on the same basis both before and after a conflict and on the different fighting sides of the conflict.

In closing, I would like to express my view that the human rights of the people of the Donbass region in Crimea are best protected in the context of a lasting peace that respects the recommendations in the reports presented today.

The PRESIDENT* – Thank you. That concludes the list of speakers.

Ms Beck, as Rapporteur for the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights, you have nine minutes remaining. You have the floor.

Ms BECK (Germany)* – My report deals with the legal issues, but I would like to respond to the debate and possibly consider some of the legal issues raised. When you go to Ukraine, you are often told, “Can’t you see that we’re fighting for you in Europe?” All too often, that is not how we see things over here. Rather, we see it as a conflict between Ukraine and its neighbour Russia. The point that I particularly want to emphasise is that we are talking about European cohesion. What is at stake is our credibility as well as our values. We must realise that we now face a situation in which right and left-wing forces are in the process of detaching from those values. That is why they went to observe the illegitimate elections in the Crimea. They have also been to the two illegitimate republics.

We must also be clear about the fact that in 1994, Ukraine was willing to scrap thousands of nuclear warheads to try to secure regional integrity. However, that assurance has now been broken, so there are question marks about how we can stand alongside that country. After all, what country would be prepared to disarm if it meant ending up without any protection?

On the human rights issue, the Crimean Tatars were deported in the cruellest possible way by Stalin in the 1940s, and were able to return only under Gorbachev. Their identity as a people and their cohesion is now being undermined and broken. They are being repressed, and any representation that they had has been prohibited. Certainly, from the human rights point of view, that is completely unacceptable. It is important that we recall Stalin’s historic crimes. We cannot countenance a repeat of them.

      Moving on to the situation in the occupied territories, they are occupied because the de facto power in the region lies with the Russian Federation. Some 10 000 people have been abused as part of a class action. They ought to be repatriated to the Republic of Ukraine. It is absolutely inconceivable that there should be such a state of affairs in the middle of Europe. That is why I believe that we should take a much more robust approach to these flagrant violations of human rights. We need to take the correct steps. There are people in the occupied territories who are unable to bring their cases before the courts. We must make it possible for them to turn directly to the European Court of Human Rights.

      Members have pointed out that reforms have not been delivered at the desired pace. There are also unresolved issues surrounding Minsk. The fact of the matter is that Minsk requires confidence. The so-called separatists have used the Minsk agreement to conquer territory with a similar surface area to that of Hamburg. That is hardly a good omen for reopening the second round of Minsk negotiations, if they have done nothing to foster trust; in fact, trust is being broken. We need the Minsk agreement, but it does not mean that, because we want to deal with this difficult issue once and for all, we should shrink from facing the truth. The fact of the matter is that it is not Ukraine that attacked Russia; it is Russia that was the aggressor who attacked Ukraine. Russian weapons, advisers and fighters are fighting in the territory of Ukraine and, in doing so, violating its sovereignty. We have to face up to that truth.

      Looking ahead to the future, it is all about confidence and trust. We should not waver in any shape or form in our determination on this score. The OSCE has decided that, according to the criteria, fair and free elections are possible in the Donbass region, and we have been asked by OSCE observers to accompany them to Donbass. The OSCE said that it was not in a position to vouch for our safety. If it is unable to provide safe passage for two rapporteurs, how can it possibly be in a position to create the conditions for free and fair elections? We simply cannot allow our principles to be bent in such a way and to become so flexible that we stray from the convictions that underpin our work here. It is not just the occupied territories in Ukraine and Crimea that we need to consider. Our principles have guided us since 1949 and have given us security. We must not sacrifice them. I say that in the full knowledge, as a German citizen, that it was as a result of German aggression that Europe was led to the brink of disaster on two occasions in the previous century.

      The PRESIDENT* – Thank you, Ms Beck. Would the Chair of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights care to reply? If so, you have two minutes.

      Mr DESTEXHE (Belgium)* – What needed to be said has been said. Ms Beck’s report and all the amendments were unanimously adopted at our last committee meeting, so it falls to me to congratulate her on, and thank her for, her report.

      The PRESIDENT* – Ms Zelienková, you have five minutes remaining.

      Ms ZELIENKOVÁ (Czech Republic) – I thank members for the fruitful discussion that we have had. Most of the speakers understand my report and I thank them for their support. I listened to all the arguments in favour and against it. How many times have we looked at a map of the world recently and wondered about the size of Russia’s territory? Does Russia need more territory? I think that Russia’s geopolitical strategy is not to get more territory, but to destabilise its neighbouring countries and the European Union. I am really happy that the European Union is united at present in facing Putin’s aggression and Russia’s expansionist policy.

      As has been said, Putin understands power. If we want to be partners in the dialogue with Putin, we have to show that we are strong and united. I have tried several times to discuss with Russian politicians their position on the conflict in Ukraine and the Russian aggression in Donbass and Crimea, but I have not been successful. Perhaps they do not want to talk to us because they think we are weak, so let us show them that we are really strong, that we have a strong position, that our existence is based on rules and international conventions, and that we are partners in the dialogue. We really want to talk to Russia, but we must be insistent. This is not just about proclamations. We must protect countries that are violated by neighbours that encroach on their territory and breach international laws. That is the only way forward.

      The European Union should be united and have its own foreign political strategy. We have the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, and each country has its own minister for foreign affairs. We have to send a strong signal that we are united, and this is one way of doing it. The amendments tabled and presented by the Ukrainian delegation make my resolution stronger. I support most of them, and I ask the Chamber to support them, too.

      (Ms Guzenina, Vice-President of the Assembly, took the Chair in place of Ms Gambaro.)

      The PRESIDENT – Does the chairperson of the Committee on Political Affairs and Democracy wish to speak? You have two minutes.

      Mr Mogens JENSEN (Denmark) – I congratulate both rapporteurs. We have two very good reports based on the mission that the rapporteurs undertook in Ukraine. I also had the opportunity to go to Ukraine some weeks ago for a week. I also went to the Donbass region. The impression that I and the rest of the Danish delegation had is totally covered by what the reports say.

      Our debate today sends a clear signal that we do not tolerate and will not accept this kind of aggression. There are clear demands for Russia and it is clear where we stand. The reports, which are very balanced, also make some demands for Ukraine to make internal reforms, to fight corruption and to co-operate with the Venice Commission. All in all, I think clear points are made in both reports. I thank the rapporteurs for their work and the discussions.

      The PRESIDENT – The Committee on Political Affairs and Democracy and the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights have both presented draft resolutions. We shall consider first the draft resolution from the Committee on Political Affairs and Democracy, to which 16 amendments have been tabled.

      The amendments to the resolution will be taken in the order in which they appear in the Compendium and the Organisation of Debates. I remind you that speeches on amendments are limited to 30 seconds.

      I understand that the Chairperson of the Committee on Political Affairs and Democracy wishes to propose to the Assembly that Amendment 15 to the draft resolution, which was unanimously approved by the committee, should be declared as agreed by the Assembly.

      Are there any objections? That is not the case.

      Amendment 15 is adopted.

      We come to Amendment 1, which is, in the draft resolution, paragraph 1, first sentence, replace the words "of the military conflict in Ukraine" with the following words:

"of the Russian attempt to annex the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and further military aggression in the east of Ukraine,"

      I call Mr Goncharenko to support Amendment 1. You have 30 seconds.

      Mr GONCHARENKO (Ukraine) – Amendment 1 has an oral sub-amendment from the rapporteur, which we confirmed and supported in committee. I ask the Assembly to support the rapporteur’s oral sub-amendment. It is quite technical. When the work on the report started, a different kind of language was used in our Assembly. We now have several resolutions where we talk about Russian aggression, which is what the oral sub-amendment talks about.

      The PRESIDENT – We come to the oral sub-amendment to Amendment 1, which was tabled by Ms Zelienková on behalf of the Committee on Political Affairs and Democracy, which is, in Amendment 1, to delete the words “attempt to annex” to the end of the sentence and insert the word “aggression in Ukraine”.

      In my opinion, the oral sub-amendment is in order under our rules. However, do 10 or more members object to the oral sub-amendment being debated? That is not the case. I therefore call Ms Zelienková to support the oral sub-amendment.

      Ms ZELIENKOVÁ (Czech Republic) – I agree with compromise.

      The PRESIDENT – Does anyone wish to speak against the oral sub-amendment? That is not the case.

      What is the opinion of the mover of the main amendment?

      Mr GONCHARENKO (Ukraine) – In favour.

      The PRESIDENT – What is the view of the committee?

      Mr Mogens JENSEN (Denmark) – In favour.

      The PRESIDENT – I will now put the oral sub-amendment to the vote.

      The vote is open.

      The oral sub-amendment is adopted.

      We will now consider Amendment 1, as amended.

      Does anyone wish to speak against the amendment, as amended? I call Mr Kox.

      Mr KOX (Netherlands) – Sure, there is Russian aggression in Ukraine. There is no doubt about that. However, by making the whole conflict about Russian aggression in Ukraine, we are hurting reality. I was there when the conflict started. The conflict started in Ukraine. We should not change history after the fact. To focus only on Russian aggression and not to say anything about the fact that the conflict broke out on Ukrainian territory is hurting reality and the truth. We should not marginalise the truth. That is why I urge the Chamber to vote against the amendment.

      The PRESIDENT – What is the view of the committee?

      Mr Mogens JENSEN (Denmark) – In favour by 16 votes to 4.

      The PRESIDENT – I shall now put Amendment 1, as amended, to the vote.

      The vote is open.

      Amendment 1, as amended, is adopted.

      We come to Amendment 2. I call Mr Goncharenko to support the amendment. You have 30 seconds.

      Mr GONCHARENKO (Ukraine) – In my speech, I talked about the illegal elections in Crimea, where for the first time in history one member State of the Council of Europe organised elections on the sovereign territory of another member State. Through the votes of 2 million Ukrainian citizens, members were elected to a so-called new Russian Parliament, which is absolutely illegal.

      The PRESIDENT – Does anyone wish to speak against the amendment? I call Mr Kox.

      Mr KOX (Netherlands) – We did not observe the Russian elections. They were observed by our colleagues from the OSCE, among others. They made a lot of comments on the elections, but they did not in any sense call them illegal. I do not know any international body that called the elections illegal as such, so it would be weird – we did not observe the elections – to be the only international organisation to call the elections illegal. That would do harm to the credibility of the Assembly, so I urge members to not support the amendment.

      The PRESIDENT – What is the opinion of the committee?

      Mr Mogens JENSEN (Denmark) – In favour by 21 votes to 3.

      The PRESIDENT – I shall now put Amendment 2 to the vote.

      The vote is open.

      Amendment 2 is adopted.

      We come to Amendment 8. I understand that Mr Goncharenko wishes to withdraw the amendment.

      Does anyone else wish to move it? That is not the case.

      Amendment 8 is not moved.

      The PRESIDENT – I call Mr Shpenov to support Amendment 11. You have 30 seconds.

      Ms L OVOCHKINA (Ukraine) – I will speak because I am also an author of this amendment. As we have a repetition of this amendment already in the text, we agreed with the rapporteur, and I withdraw the amendment.

      The PRESIDENT – Does anyone else wish to move Amendment 11? That is not the case.

      Amendment 11 is not moved.

      We come now to Amendment 3. I call Mr Goncharenko to support the amendment.

      Mr GONCHARENKO (Ukraine) – We are saying that the OSCE must observe the whole territory not controlled by Ukrainian power – the occupied territory of eastern Ukraine. I think that everybody here in the Chamber supports us.

      The PRESIDENT – Does anyone wish to speak against the amendment? That is not the case.

      What is the opinion of the committee?

      Mr Mogens JENSEN (Denmark) – The committee is in favour, with a large majority.

      The PRESIDENT – I shall now put the amendment to the vote.

      The vote is open.

      Amendment 3 is adopted.

      I understand that Mr Shpenov wishes to withdraw Amendment 16.

      Ms L OVOCHKINA (Ukraine) – Yes, we wish to withdraw the amendment since we already have the requirement on Ukraine to adopt its own statute in Ms Beck’s report.

      The PRESIDENT – Does anyone else wish to move Amendment 16? That is not the case.

      Amendment 16 is not moved.

      We come now to Amendment 12, tabled by Mr Shpenov, Ms L Ovochkina, Ms Deskoska, Sir Alan Meale, Lord Anderson, Mr Cepeda and Mr Antonio Gutiérrez, which is, in the draft resolution, paragraph 11, after the word "institutions," to insert the following words:

“strong political opposition and free media,”.

      I call Ms L Ovochkina to support Amendment No. 12

      Ms L OVOCHKINA (Ukraine) – There is an oral sub-amendment that was suggested by the rapporteur. Perhaps she wants to present that first, and then I will speak on the amendment.

      The PRESIDENT – First we have to move the main amendment. You have 30 seconds.

      Ms L OVOCHKINA (Ukraine) – I stress once again in this Assembly that there is a constant attack on the media in Ukraine as well as political persecution and physical attacks on members of the opposition. That is why I tabled the amendment.

      The PRESIDENT – I call Ms Zelienková to move the oral sub-amendment, on behalf of the Committee on Political Affairs and Democracy. The oral sub-amendment deletes the words “strong political opposition” and inserts the words “a pluralistic political environment”.

      In my opinion, the oral sub-amendment is in order under our rules. However, do ten or more members object to the oral sub-amendment being debated? That is not the case. I call Ms Zelienková to support the oral sub-amendment.

       Ms ZELIENKOVÁ (Czech Republic) – I agree with the suggestion to add the words in Amendment 12 to the report, but I cannot agree with the phrase “strong political opposition” because we cannot somehow judge what is strong or what is weak. That is why I have suggested the wording “a pluralistic political environment”, which is clearer.

      The PRESIDENT – Does anyone wish to speak against the oral sub-amendment? That is not the case.

      What is the opinion of the mover of the main amendment?

      Ms L OVOCHKINA (Ukraine) – We agree.

      The PRESIDENT – What is the view of the committee?

      Mr Mogens JENSEN (Denmark) – The committee is in favour.

      The PRESIDENT – I will now put the oral sub-amendment to the vote.

      The vote is open.

      The oral sub-amendment is agreed to.

      We will now consider the main amendment, as amended.

      Does anyone wish to speak against Amendment 12, as amended? That is not the case.

      What is the view of the committee?

      Mr Mogens JENSEN (Denmark) – Unanimously in favour.

      The PRESIDENT – I shall now put Amendment 12, as amended, to the vote.

      The vote is open.

      Amendment 12, as amended, is agreed to.

      We come now to Amendment 13. I call Ms L Ovochkina to support Amendment 13.

      Ms L OVOCHKINA (Ukraine) – Amendment 13 reinforces the amendment that has just been adopted. It calls on the Ukrainian authorities to ensure democratic policies and democratic standards with regard to media and opposition.

      The PRESIDENT – Does anyone wish to speak against the amendment? That is not the case.

      What is the opinion of the committee?

      Mr Mogens JENSEN (Denmark) – The committee is in favour by 15 votes to 10.

      The PRESIDENT – I shall now put the amendment to the vote.

      The vote is open.

      Amendment 13 is adopted.

      We come now to Amendment 14, tabled by Mr Shpenov, Ms L Ovochkina, Ms Deskoska, Lord Anderson and Mr Gutiérrez, which is, in the draft resolution, before paragraph 11.1, to insert the following paragraph:

“calls on the Ukrainian authorities to establish a national dialogue and to harmonise relations between different ethnic, linguistic, religious and regional groups in Ukrainian society;".

      I call Ms L Ovochkina to support Amendment 14.

      Ms L OVOCHKINA (Ukraine) – One of the consequences of the conflict in Ukraine – the Russian aggression against Ukraine – is a tension in society, with complete intolerance and misunderstandings between different religious and linguistic groups. This amendment calls on Ukrainian society and authorities to establish the national dialogue that is so needed in my country.

      The PRESIDENT – I have been informed that Ms Zelienková wishes to propose an oral sub-amendment on behalf of the Committee on Political Affairs and Democracy, as follows:

      In Amendment 14 – to delete the words “religious and regional groups” and insert the words “and religious groups”.

      In my opinion, the oral sub-amendment is in order under our rules. However, do ten or more members object to the oral sub-amendment being debated? That is not the case.

      I therefore call Ms Zelienková to support her oral sub-amendment.

      Ms ZELIENKOVÁ (Czech Republic) – I found the amendment useful, but on the other hand, I wanted to take out the word “regional” because we do not know exactly what “regional groups” means, so something could be hidden, but we do not know what.

      The PRESIDENT – Does anyone wish to speak against the oral sub-amendment? That is not the case.

      What is the opinion of the mover of the main amendment?

      Ms L OVOCHKINA (Ukraine) – In order to eliminate the possibility to speculate with the words in this report, I agreed with the rapporteur.

      The PRESIDENT – What is the view of the committee?

      Mr Mogens JENSEN (Denmark) – In favour.

      The PRESIDENT – I will put the oral sub-amendment to the vote.

      The vote is open.

      The oral sub-amendment is agreed to.

      We will now consider Amendment 14, as amended.

      Does anyone wish to speak against the amendment, as amended? That is not the case.

      I shall now put Amendment 14, as amended, to the vote.

      The vote is open.

      Amendment No. 14, as amended, is agreed to.

      We come to Amendment 4. I call Mr Goncharenko to support Amendment 4.

      Mr GONCHARENKO (Ukraine) – We are saying that the sanctions and restrictions that are put on Russia should be maintained so that the whole territory of Ukraine would be under Ukrainian control. I want to inform the Assembly of the latest news that today Mr Putin finally confirmed the presence of Russians in Donbass. In Ukraine, he said: “We were forced to defend our Russian-speaking people in Donbass in eastern Ukraine.” Next he will find Russian-speaking people in Poland, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, London, Miami and so on.

      The PRESIDENT – Does anyone wish to speak against the amendment? I call Mr Kox.

      Mr KOX (Netherlands) – The rapporteur concludes in the resolution itself that there are different thoughts about what is the best way for the European Union to react on Russian behaviour. As the European Union is the organisation that has to decide on its own sanctions, it does not make sense, and it is not polite, that this Assembly now says what the European Union should do or not do. I therefore think that this amendment is not appropriate. The European Union can make its own decisions. I advocate a vote against the amendment.

      The PRESIDENT – What is the opinion of the committee?

      Mr Mogens JENSEN (Denmark) – The committee is in favour by a large majority.

      The PRESIDENT – I shall now put the amendment to the vote.

      The vote is open.

      Amendment 4 is agreed to.

      I call Mr Goncharenko to support Amendment 5.

      Mr GONCHARENKO (Ukraine) – This is a technical amendment. We propose to add the words “and have ceased co-operation with the Assembly’s monitoring procedure”. I think that is clear to everybody.

      The PRESIDENT – Does anyone wish to speak against the amendment? That is not the case.

      What is the opinion of the committee?

      Mr Mogens JENSEN (Denmark) – The committee is in favour with a large majority.

      The PRESIDENT – I shall now put the amendment to the vote.

       The vote is open.

      Amendment 5 is adopted.

      We move on to Amendment 6. I call Mr Goncharenko to support the amendment.

      Mr GONCHARENKO (Ukraine) – This is about Assembly Resolutions 1990, 2034 and 2063. We want to reinforce those and state one more time that those should be fulfilled before there can be any changes in the attitude to what is going on in our country.

      The PRESIDENT – Does anyone wish to speak against the amendment? I call Mr Kox.

      Mr KOX (Netherlands) – The mover of the amendment acts as though he is speaking on behalf of the Ukrainian delegation, but he is not; he speaks on behalf of part of it. He asks this Assembly to say what we should do when the Russian delegation presents new credentials. We should leave it to the Assembly if and when Russian credentials are presented and not to decide now what we should do. This is not in line with the normal customs of this Assembly.

      The PRESIDENT – What is the opinion of the committee?

       Mr Mogens JENSEN (Denmark) – The committee is in favour with a large majority.

      The PRESIDENT – I shall now put the amendment to the vote.

      The vote is open.

      Amendment 6 is adopted.

      We move on to Amendment 7. I call Mr Goncharenko to support it.

      Mr GONCHARENKO (Ukraine) – This amendment is also technical. We spoke about Russian aggression at the beginning. The whole text should fit the name of the report and we can change it through the amendments. I stress, as I have a little time left, that someone whose name I cannot say here – that is what our President thinks – also looked for Germans across the whole world to protect them. Just remember that.

      The PRESIDENT – Does anyone wish to speak against the amendment? I call Mr Kox.

      Mr KOX (Netherlands) – May I check that we are talking about Amendment 9?

      The PRESIDENT – We are talking about Amendment 7.

      Mr KOX (Netherlands) I think he spoke about Amendment 9. On Amendment 7, it is not right that we decide now when we are going to come back to this issue. That is not a technical decision, but a political one. Let us leave it to the Assembly to decide, if the problem arises.

      The PRESIDENT – Mr Goncharenko, did you speak about the right amendment?

      Mr GONCHARENKO (Ukraine) – Excuse me, I was speaking about Amendment 9. I was not expecting any discussion about Amendment 7. It just seemed that our Assembly should look at the situation in future. I think that is absolutely clear for everybody.

      The PRESIDENT – Mr Kox has made his point on Amendment 7.

      What is the opinion of the committee?

      Mr Mogens JENSEN (Denmark) – The committee is in favour with a large majority.

      The PRESIDENT – I shall now put the amendment to the vote.

      The vote is open.

      Amendment 7 is adopted.

      We move on to Amendment 9. If Amendment 9 to the title is adopted, Amendment 10, which is also to the title, falls, as the original title to which the amendment was offered will have been amended.

      Mr Goncharenko, would you like to repeat what you just said?

      Mr GONCHARENKO (Ukraine) – No, thank you. I have made my argument, but I encourage everybody one more time to support the whole report with all the appropriate amendments.

      The PRESIDENT – Does anyone wish to speak against the amendment?

      Mr KOX (Netherlands) – We have been dealing with this report for more than a year. The title as it is mentions “the conflict in Ukraine”, but at the very last moment, we have had a proposal from part of the Ukrainian delegation to totally change the title – to “Russian aggression” or something like that. I have been in this Assembly now for 13 years and I have never seen such a thing happen. I am very disappointed that the rapporteur accepted that the title of her own report should be changed at the very last moment. This is not how we should conduct business here.

      The PRESIDENT – What is the opinion of the committee?

      Mr Mogens JENSEN (Denmark) – The committee is in favour with a large majority.

      The PRESIDENT – I shall now put the amendment to the vote.

      The vote is open.

      Amendment 9 is adopted.

      We will now move on to vote on the draft resolution contained in Document 14130, as amended.

      The vote is open.

      The draft resolution in Document 14130, as amended, is adopted, with 78 for, 11 against and 13 abstentions.

      I call Mr Kox on a point of order.

      Mr KOX (Netherlands) – I did not have the right to intervene while we were voting, but I think that the accusation that was just made about the President of the Assembly is not in line with the rules of this organisation and I ask the person who said it to withdraw it, especially given that he said it while the President is not here. That is not a polite way of doing business.

      The PRESIDENT – I call Mr Goncharenko on a point of order.

      Mr GONCHARENKO (Ukraine) – I have not made any accusations. I said what I wanted to say to you. I told you about history and gave you clear facts to show us that the very sad history that we saw 70 years ago can unfortunately be our future, so please be very patient.

      The PRESIDENT – This is not a point of order. We will move on.

      We now come to the resolution from the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights to which 15 amendments have been tabled. The amendments will be taken in the order in which they appear in the Compendium and the Organisation of Debates.

      I understand that the Chairperson of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights wishes to propose to the Assembly that Amendments 1, 8, 2, 3, 4, 5, 9, 10, 11, 15 and 6 to the draft resolution, which were unanimously approved by the committee, should be declared as agreed by the Assembly.

      Amendments 12 and 7 were also unanimously agreed by committee but as they are subject to a sub-amendment will be considered separately in the usual manner.

      Does anyone object? As there is no objection, I declare that Amendments 1, 8, 2, 3, 4, 5, 9, 10, 11, 15 and 6 to the draft resolution have been agreed.

      Amendments 1, 8, 2, 3, 4, 5, 9, 10, 11, 15 and 6 are adopted.

      We come to Amendment 12, which is, in the draft resolution, after paragraph 8, to insert the following paragraph:

      “Moreover, in accordance with reports of authoritative international and non-governmental organizations (in particular Freedom House, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and many others), there are signs of violations of the provisions of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination by the Russian Federation in occupied Crimea in relation to Crimean Tatars. In particular the Russian Federation does not guarantee the right of Crimean Tatars to equality before the law, notably in the enjoyment of the right to security of the person and protection by the State against violence or bodily harm, the right to freedom of movement, the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, the right to freedom of opinion and expression and the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association. Such violations may be seen in the enforced disappearances of Crimean Tatars, the prohibition on the entry to Crimea of the leaders of the Crimean Tatar people, interference with religious practices, the prohibition of Crimean Tatar mass media and the prohibition of the activity of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People, the highest recognized executive and political organ of Crimean Tatars."I

      I call Mr Goncharenko to support the amendment. You have 30 seconds.

      Mr GONCHARENKO (Ukraine) – I want to ask Mr Yemets of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights to speak in favour of the amendment.

      Mr YEMETS (Ukraine) – The committee discussed the amendment and decided that it was too long, so the rapporteur changed the text and the committee agreed with that, so I suggest that we vote for what she proposes.

      The PRESIDENT – I have been informed that Ms Beck wishes to propose an oral sub-amendment on behalf of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights, which is, in Amendment 12, to delete the words in brackets in the first sentence and to delete the second and third sentences.

      In my opinion, the oral sub-amendment is in order under our rules. However, do 10 or more members object to the oral sub-amendment being debated? That is not the case.

      I therefore call Ms Beck to support the oral sub-amendment.

      Ms BECK (Germany) – The facts about the Crimean Tatars can be expressed through a shortening of Amendment 12, so that is why I have suggested that we delete the relevant sentences.

      The PRESIDENT – Does anyone wish to speak against the oral sub-amendment? That is not the case.

      What is the opinion of the mover of the Amendment 12? I call Mr Yemets.

      Mr YEMETS (Ukraine) – I agree with the oral sub-amendment.

      The PRESIDENT – What is the view of the committee?

      Mr DESTEXHE (Belgium) – The committee unanimously approved the oral sub-amendment.

      The PRESIDENT – The vote is open.

      The oral sub-amendment is adopted.

      Does anyone wish to speak against Amendment 12, as amended? That is not the case.

      What is the view of the committee?

      Mr DESTEXHE (Belgium) – The committee is in favour.

      The PRESIDENT – The vote is open.

      Amendment 12, as amended, is adopted.

      We come to Amendment 13. I call Ms L Ovochkina to support the amendment. You have 30 seconds.

      Ms L OVOCHKINA (Ukraine) – Ukraine proclaimed derogations from certain obligations imposed by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the European Convention on Human Rights. According to the practice of the European Court of Human Rights, every case has been evaluated on the lawfulness of derogations that can lead to a lower level of protection of the rights guaranteed by this instrument. That is why I introduced the amendment.

      The PRESIDENT – Does anyone wish to speak against the amendment? I call Mr Ariev.

      Mr ARIEV (Ukraine) – The derogation was imposed because the Ukrainian Government could not be responsible for the territories that are not under its control.

      The PRESIDENT – What is the opinion of the committee?

      Mr DESTEXHE (Belgium) – The committee unanimously rejected the amendment.

      The PRESIDENT – The vote is open.

      Amendment 13 is rejected.

      We come to Amendment 7, which is, in the draft resolution, after paragraph 16.2.3, to insert the following paragraph:

“use all available legal means to repeal the decision of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation to outlaw the Mejlis, and to allow the Crimean Tatar community to choose its own self-governing institutions;”.

      I call Mr Vlasenko to support Amendment 7. You have 30 seconds.

      Mr VLASENKO (Ukraine) – The sub-paragraph is based on the concerns expressed in paragraph 8 of the draft resolution and is fully in line with the causes of other international organisations. The sub-amendment is technical and, as one of its authors, I support it. The chair of the committee will tell you that the amendment as sub-amended was approved unanimously.

      The PRESIDENT – I have been informed that Ms Beck wishes to propose an oral sub-amendment on behalf of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights, which is, in Amendment 7, to replace the words “community to choose its own” with “people to choose their own”.

      In my opinion, the oral sub-amendment is in order under our rules. However, do 10 or more members object to the oral sub-amendment being debated? That is not the case.

      I therefore call Ms Beck to support the oral sub-amendment.

      Ms BECK (Germany) – When we started the report, we were talking about the Tatar community, but we have since learned that it identifies itself as a people, which is why we have proposed the oral sub-amendment.

      The PRESIDENT – Does anyone wish to speak against the oral sub-amendment? That is not the case.

      What is the opinion of the mover of Amendment 7? I call Mr Vlasenko.

      Mr VLASENKO (Ukraine) – I am totally in favour of the oral sub-amendment.

      The PRESIDENT – What is the view of the committee?

      Mr DESTEXHE (Belgium) – The committee is in favour.

      The PRESIDENT – The vote is open.

      The oral sub-amendment is adopted.

      Does anyone wish to speak against Amendment 7, as amended? That is not the case.

      What is the view of the committee?

      Mr DESTEXHE (Belgium) – The committee is in favour.

      The PRESIDENT – The vote is open.

      Amendment 7, as amended, is adopted.

      We come to Amendment 14. I call Ms L Ovochkina to support the amendment. You have 30 seconds.

      Ms L OVOCHKINA (Ukraine) – As you all know, the Ukrainian Government has cancelled pension and social assistance payments in territories beyond its control. The court of appeal has ruled that that order is against the law, but the decision has been ignored. That is why I introduced the amendment.

      The PRESIDENT – Does anyone wish to speak against the amendment?

      Mr LOZOVOY (Ukraine)* – An awful lot of people have been charged by the court and this was corrupted by the Moscow courts. The way it was done in Crimea amounted to an economic blockade.

      The PRESIDENT – What is the opinion of the committee?

      Mr DESTEXHE (Belgium) – The committee unanimously rejected the amendment.

      The PRESIDENT – The vote is open.

      Amendment 14 is rejected.

      We will now vote on the draft resolution contained in Document 14139, as amended.

      The vote is open.

      The draft resolution in Document 14139, as amended, is adopted, with 87 votes for, 6 against and 11 abstentions.

2. Co-operation with the International Criminal Court: towards a concrete and expanded commitment

      The PRESIDENT – The next item of business this afternoon is the debate on the report titled, “Co-operation with the International Criminal Court: towards a concrete and expanded commitment” (Document 14136), presented by Mr Alain Destexhe on behalf of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights.

      We might not have a problem with this, but in order to finish by 7.55 p.m., we must interrupt the list of speakers at about 7.40 p.m. to allow time for the reply and the vote. Are these arrangements agreed to? They are agreed to.

      I call Mr Destexhe, rapporteur. You have 13 minutes in total, which you may divide between presentation of the report and the reply to the debate.

      Mr DESTEXHE (Belgium)* – Co-operation with the International Criminal Court (ICC) is not a new subject for our Assembly. The Parliamentary Assembly has already taken a position – on several occasions, in fact – and has promoted the creation of an independent international court and co-operation between the ICC and member States of the Council of Europe. Most recently, we addressed the issue back in 2009.

      Today, I will present a new report on the subject. In particular, I will highlight the most recent headway made on the ICC, its workings and its problems. When preparing the report, the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights was lucky enough to welcome the president of the court, Ms Silvia Fernández de Gurmendi, to a hearing held in Rome in May this year.

      The ICC was created under the 1998 Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court to prosecute the most serious crimes of concern to the international community: the crime of genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes. Following Resolution 1644 in 2009, major headway was made at the Kampala review conference of 2010, when the two so-called Kampala amendments were adopted. One enlarged the definition of war crimes and the other comprised a definition of the crime of aggression, giving the ICC jurisdiction. That was a major breakthrough in international law. So far, only the first amendment has entered into force.

      In my report, I have included a list of action areas for all member States in which the obligations resulting from the Rome Statute need to be incorporated. I will give some figures on the ratification of the statute. So far, 124 States have ratified the Rome Statute. That might seem a lot, but it is only half the members of the United Nations – we need all member States to sign it, or as many as possible. Regrettably, six member States of the Council of Europe, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Monaco, the Russian Federation, Turkey and Ukraine, still have not signed up to the convention. The United States, an observer State at the Council of Europe, has not signed up either. As I mention in my report and in the draft resolution, a number of member States have ratified neither the Kampala amendments nor the Agreement on the Privileges and Immunities of the International Criminal Court.

      I also outline the fact that the ICC is based on the principle of complementarity. In other words, the court will only intervene if the State concerned is not in a position to or does not want to prosecute the perpetrators of crimes against humanity. That said, even though the Rome Statute includes no specific obligations on the matter, it is desirable for State parties to incorporate the crimes into their criminal legislation to avoid any duality in so far as the standards are concerned. In my report, I also focused on the issue of incorporating the provisions of the Rome Statute into national legislation. I noted that, unfortunately, four member States of the Council of Europe have still not yet incorporated the crimes defined in the convention into their national criminal legislation. Five member States have failed to put in place mechanisms for co-operation with the ICC.

      We are therefore talking not only about the six member States that have not signed the Rome Statute, but others that have not fully adhered to their obligations. Co-operation, in particular in so far as arresting suspects is concerned, or execution of sentences handed down by the court and protection of witnesses, is of paramount importance if we want the court to work as effectively and efficiently as possible.

      I also outline a number of problems that the ICC is facing. I have identified four main ones. First is the absence of universal ratification of the Rome Statute. The court is therefore sometimes accused of double standards and politicisation. For example, third States which have not signed the Rome Statute can only be referred to the court on the basis of a decision taken by the United Nations Security Council, but such a decision would of course be political in nature.

      Secondly, there is an issue related to the lack of co-operation mechanisms and measures with the ICC, as well as the failure to incorporate into national legislation the general principles and crimes defined in the Rome Statute. It is not enough simply to sign up to and ratify the convention; it is also important to have the necessary principles and provisions in national legislation for that to be possible.

      Thirdly, the court does not have sufficient budgetary resources to be able to carry out its initiatives. Every year, it has to fight to secure sufficient resources for the following year. The Trust Fund for Victims, which is not well known, is endowed with little resource. That is regrettable given the restorative function of the trust fund for victims.

      Fourthly and finally, certain leaders of some African States that might be prosecuted by the court are questioning the existence and legitimately of the ICC. It is true that almost all cases dealt with by the ICC concern African countries, but it is also important to note that in most of those cases, African States themselves referred the cases to the court. That issue has not yet been resolved, but fortunately, at the recent African Union summit held in Kigali, Rwanda, the heads of State in Africa did not carry out their threat to leave ICC jurisdiction. So the danger of Africa withdrawing from the ICC has, for the time being at least, been avoided.

      The role of the ICC in combating impunity and developments in international criminal law increases constantly, despite the difficulties that I have just listed. On 27 September this year, the court convicted Ahmad al-Faqi al-Mahdi of the war crime of destroying monuments in Timbuktu and gave him a nine-year prison sentence. It is the first time that the ICC has focused on the destruction of cultural property as a war crime, and we should commend it for that innovation and the judgment that it handed down.

      I feel strongly that the Council of Europe and its member States can play a part in promoting the universal ratification of the Rome Statute and strengthening the ICC. For that reason, the draft resolution comprises an appeal to all member States and other States co-operating with our Organisation to carry out several measures. Those include: to ratify the Rome Statute, for the six member States that have not yet done so; to ratify the related legal instruments and texts, if that has not yet been done; to incorporate into international legislation the provisions of the Rome Statute; to provide effective budgetary resources for the ICC, particularly for its Trust Fund for Victims; and, last but not least, to support civil society and the NGOs that combat impunity.

      In our capacity as national parliamentarians, we should step up our commitment to combating impunity and supporting the ICC. If impunity continues, human rights will be flouted. We are talking not about ordinary crimes but about the most serious crimes: genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. They concern us all, regardless of our nationality.

      The PRESIDENT – Thank you, Mr Destexhe. You have four and a half minutes remaining.

      We now move on to the debate. I call Mr Le Borgn’.

      Mr LE BORGN’ (France, Spokesperson for the Socialist Group)* – I thank our colleague Alain Destexhe for his report on co-operation with the ICC. That should be strengthened – in some cases, it should start – especially among the 47 member States of the Council of Europe. The creation of the court by the Rome Statute almost 20 years ago was undeniably one of the most striking international developments in the field of justice, so we would like the court to be unchallengeable and unchallenged. The truth, unfortunately, is different. As the rapporteur reminds us, the integrity and independence of the court have, regrettably, sometimes been questioned. It is our responsibility in the Council of Europe to combat any attempts to undermine the authority of the court as a permanent international judicial institution. Some are not happy with the court, because it courageously sheds light on truths that bother people, brings to light the circumstances of tragic drama and punishes the perpetrators, but that is precisely its role.

      Our States must commit to the court, but let us recognise that if we are to be useful, we must put our own houses in order. It is not acceptable that six members of our Organisation have not yet ratified the Rome Statute. Dear friends from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Monaco, Russia, Turkey and Ukraine, why have you not yet ratified the Rome Statute? The point of the court, after all, is to prosecute the most serious crimes, which affect the entire international community: genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. Six years after the adoption of the Kampala amendments, which made the use of certain arms in a non-international armed conflict a war crime and defined the crime of aggression, no fewer than 17 member States of the Council of Europe that are parties to the Rome Statute have not yet ratified the amendments.

      We must do better at a national level and at a European level. That means that we must ratify the texts in question immediately and adopt appropriate national legislation that allows for full application of the statute. A fortiori, that means incorporating into the criminal legislation of each of our States the crimes and general principles in the Rome Statute. We must also enter into co-operation agreements with the court to facilitate investigations and prosecution, to ensure that sentences are executed and to protect witnesses. We must put our energy into training lawyers, judges, prosecutors and armed forces on the implementation of the Rome Statute. Through the political commitment of our parliamentarians – that is what is most important here in the Palace of Europe – and through the support, including financial support, of non-governmental organisations that have courageously embraced the cause of international criminal justice, we have an obligation to achieve results.

      Mr JORDANA (Andorra, Spokesperson for the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe)* – My group extends its full support to the ICC for its work in pursuing those who are responsible for genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. The Rome Statute set up the ICC. It was adopted during a diplomatic conference, the so-called Rome conference, that brought together plenipotentiaries of the United Nations in Rome between 15 June and 17 July 1998. It was subsequently ratified by 60 States and came into force. Andorra signed the treaty immediately in July 1998 and ratified it on 30 April 2001.

      I congratulate Mr Destexhe on the excellent report, which sets out in a methodical way the setting up of the court. The report also considers the court’s shortcomings to help it to function more efficiently. First, the report stresses that it is up to member States to sign the Rome Statute. In the current context of violence and terrorism, crimes committed by Daesh, for example, cannot go unpunished. Those responsible must be prosecuted. We must all concede that impunity has reached such a level that many such crimes go unpunished.

      Many States have failed to do their duty and have not signed the Rome Statute or ratified the agreement. It is surprising that six member States of the Council of Europe – Armenia, Azerbaijan, Monaco, Turkey, Ukraine and Russia – have still failed to sign the statute. As the report stresses, the ICC can carry out its duties only if the person who is to be prosecuted is a national of a State party and if the crime was committed on the territory of a State party. The ICC was set up to carry out international law. Its powers come into force only if national jurisdictions refuse or do not have the power to judge crimes. That is why Daesh/ISIS crimes must be prosecuted.

       The Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe extends its full support to this report, which further reminds us of the need to fight against impunity for such crimes and complement the work of national courts. We must ensure that all States support the court to guarantee its efficiency. Ratification of the Rome Statute by as many States as possible must be accompanied by a stepping up of international co-operation. We must say no to international crimes against humanity, war crimes and genocide, and we must allow the court to complement the work of legal systems within the rule of law.

      Mr EVANS (United Kingdom, Spokesperson for the European Conservatives Group) – I start by complementing Mr Alain Destexhe and the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights on this thorough and far-reaching report into the inadequacies of the International Criminal Court system and the ways in which it is lacking. Careful reading of the report makes one question whether we want this organisation. Assuming the answer to be yes, urgent action must follow. The question that follows must be: who will drive forward the changes that are necessary to make this body effective, efficient, universal and trusted? It has a vital role in this day and age, and it is needed more than when it was set up in 1998. Why have only 124 States ratified the Rome Statute to recognise and adhere to the workings of the court? As has been said time and again, six States from within our own Organisation, as well as the United States of America, have not done so. Half the Council of Europe countries that have ratified the statute have not signed up to the Kampala amendments relating to the use of poison gas and dum-dum bullets, including my own country. I assure Mr Destexhe that, when I get back to the United Kingdom, I shall raise this issue with my own Government.

      Despite its origins in the United Nations, the ICC is not part of it and has to rely on member States recognising privileges and immunities for those working for it. It cuts the feet from under those doing valuable work and the United Nations needs to look at this again.

      We have heard that funding is inadequate so cases are delayed. This is clearly unacceptable and a proper funding mechanism is absolutely needed. Then there is a problem with certain countries not agreeing to host convicted prisoners; you cannot expect Holland to do it all on its own. This needs to be looked at and more countries need to step up to the mark on this and the Trust Fund for Victims, which Mr Destexhe mentioned in his opening speech.

      The organisation needs an overhaul. It needs reinvigorating and reinventing. The United States of America needs to get on board and I hope that the new administration will look at this as soon as it is elected. The court needs legitimacy, which is important, and transparency, which is vital. It needs publicity. Education is needed not only for members of parliament – I have learned a lot by reading the report – but for members of the public, who need to know what it does. We need 100% support and universality of the organisation is needed now.

This report must not languish and I hope more work can be done on how to take it forward. The measure of its success will be the actions on reform. If we allow this report to gather dust, the greatest injustice will be meted out to some of the world’s greatest victims. Let it be the Council of Europe that speaks up for them; let it be the Council of Europe that drives forward these reforms.

Ms KERESTECİOĞLU DEMİR (Turkey, Spokesperson for the Group of the Unified European Left) – First, I thank the rapporteur, Mr Destexhe, on behalf of the Group of the Unified European Left, for bringing this important topic before the Assembly. The report is very critical as it calls for action from six member States that have not yet ratified the Rome Statute and affirmed their commitment to the ICC. Turkey promised to ratify the statute after implementing it in national legislation in 2002 and 2004. However, although Rome Statute crimes were included in national legislation, the statute remains unsigned by Turkey to this day.

The ICC can be a very effective institution for universal jurisdiction over war crimes and crimes against humanity. However, the court is not capable of playing this important role right now. Nationals of member States that have not ratified the statute are immune from any investigation and prosecution. As there was no Security Council referral, we could not even expect the Office of the Prosecutor to have jurisdiction over crimes against humanity and war crimes carried out in many countries. Moreover, the sad truth is that the leaders and nationals of NATO member States and their allies will probably never have to answer in an international court for the perpetrations of their military.

We all know that the liberal interventionists’ drive is not safe from political and economic relations. Otherwise, those who branded Slobodan Milošević “the butcher of Belgrade” would also react for folks in Syria and Iraq and the Kurds in Turkey who witnessed war crimes. If the ICC Office of the Prosecutor were to investigate crimes against humanity in the war in Syria, I wonder who would take responsibility. Will those who mistreated the refugees, those who supplied weapons or those who smuggled oil also be held responsible for the crimes they committed?

The need to strengthen an independent judicial institution is urgent. However, we should ensure that this court has the power to work independently; otherwise, politically motivated war crime indictments will have no benefit to humanity but will cover the crime itself.

Finally, I re-emphasise the importance of the call to action in the report, which invites those member States that have not done so to ratify the statute. I ask all member States to ratify the Kampala amendments and invite all members to vote in favour of the report..

Mr VLASENKO (Ukraine, Spokesperson for the Group of the European People’s Party) – On behalf of the EPP, I congratulate the rapporteur, the Chair of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights, Mr Destexhe, on his brilliant job in discussing a very important issue. Cesare Beccaria, an outstanding representative of the age of enlightenment, wrote that one of the most effective means of frustrating the crime is not a cruel punishment but the inevitability of punishment. The inevitability of punishment is a core question of Mr Destexhe’s report. Yes, we have the inevitability of punishment on, let us say, the white side, but we have impunity on the black side. That is what the report is about.

The case of the Russian Federation vetoing the proposal for the United Nations Security Council to send the Syrian case to the ICC to investigate the war crimes there is the latest classic example of how one country is trying to avoid the principle of the inevitability of punishment. It tries to establish the principle of impunity. We should state, as does the report, that without States’ co-operation with the ICC, the ICC cannot fulfil its mandate. Maybe, however, we can think about new mechanisms to encourage the member States to co-operate with the ICC more effectively. That is the key question right now.

The report also deals with the challenges that stand behind the ICC. The first of those is achieving the universal jurisdiction of the ICC.

I want to answer the question of my colleague, Pierre-Yves le Borgn’, who asked why Ukraine did not ratify the Rome Statute. As a parliamentarian, I strongly advocated immediate ratification of the Rome Statute but the majority in our parliament would take only the first step. It was a big step but it was only the first. Ukraine adopted the amendments to the constitution that will allow it, in the near future, to adopt the Rome Statute. Based on the resolution that I believe will be adopted unanimously here, as a parliamentarian I will once more raise the question of adopting the Rome Statute in Ukraine immediately. With the adoption of the resolution, we should send an important signal of support to the ICC and call for an end to impunity for the most serious crimes of international concern.

The PRESIDENT – Mr Destexhe, do you wish to respond at this stage?

Mr DESTEXHE (Belgium)* – I had planned to answer all the comments from the floor together, but as you have given me the floor, I should like to thank the representatives of the different political groups for their unanimous support for my report. I also say special thanks to Mr Evans, who was one of the only people to pronounce my name correctly. That is a joke, of course; it is a difficult name to pronounce. I have heard so many different pronunciations of my name – “De-stex-hee-ya”, for example. I have been working on it for quite some time but, please, dear colleagues, I am called Mr “Dess-tecks”; that is how you pronounce my name.

I am delighted that some of you – Mr Vlasenko and Mr Evans among others – promised that they would refer this matter to their governments to ensure that everything can be done to get the Rome Statute or the Kampala amendments ratified. On the Kampala amendments, of course some countries may find it hard to ratify the crime of aggression, but if we are going to prohibit the use of a poison, asphyxiating gases or other arms, that should be universally approved and ratified.

      We should underline the importance of Ukraine ratifying the Rome Statute. Ukraine has already stated that the court would have jurisdiction even before ratifying it. That is a good step forward.

      The PRESIDENT –Thank you. We now move to the speakers list. First, I call Mr Arnaut.

      Mr ARNAUT (Bosnia and Herzegovina) – I welcome the report and thank the rapporteur and all who collaborated on the excellent work on the report and the draft resolution.

      Bosnia and Herzegovina was one of the countries whose ratification 14 years ago pushed the number of ratifying countries past 60, enabling the ratification of the Rome Statute and its coming into force. As genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity in my country precipitated the first international war crimes tribunal since Nuremburg and Tokyo, it was a logical move for us to be among those 60 countries. This is one of the reasons I particularly welcome the report and the draft resolution. I also welcome the call on the governments of the member States of the Council of Europe to ratify the statute if they have not already done so, and the call on those who have not done so to ratify the Kampala amendments. I am saddened to have to say that my country is among those who have not yet ratified the amendments.

      I, as a parliamentarian, have pushed this issue to the forefront, and the position of the presidency and our council of ministers so far has been that they are waiting for other countries to ratify, to see how the situation develops. This Council of Europe resolution and report and the fact that the majority of member States have ratified will, I think, be the push needed for my government to act on the Kampala amendments and begin the process of ratification. I am almost certain that within the nearly two years remaining of my country’s current parliament the request for ratification approval will come to us, and I, along with the majority of my colleagues, will be very glad to vote for that. I and a number of my colleagues will certainly be advocating that this happen as soon as possible.

      Finally, I should point out that I discovered a small mistake in paragraph 4, and I hope there will be a procedural way to correct it; I am sure a plan has already been devised.

      (Ms Gambaro, Vice-President of the Assembly, took the Chair in place of Ms Guzenina.)

      Ms KARAMANLI (France)* – This report is important, and our discussion of it shows how important it is for us to prosecute and punish the perpetrators of the most serious crimes committed across the international community – genocide, crimes against humanity and crimes of war. We must give impetus to the action of the ICC, created to prosecute these crimes. Our discussion of the report of our colleague Alain Destexhe – I think I have got the pronunciation right now – allows us to call for this new impetus.

      I shall focus on three ideas. What is at stake in this court? It was created in 1998, not even 20 years ago. That generated a lot of hope. It was thought this would make it possible to prosecute and punish the most serious crimes against international humanitarian law, especially when the criminals cannot be judged in their own countries. It was set up as a permanent institution with several institutional limitations imposed upon it to ensure acceptability and operationality. There are material limitations in the sense that its jurisdiction is limited to crimes against humanity, genocide, and crimes of war and of aggression. There are territorial limitations in the sense that the crime must have been committed on the territory of a State that has ratified the convention or with the alleged perpetrators being citizens of such a State. Also, the Security Council refers cases, so there is an organisational limitation as well. Then there is the limitation because of the fact that only 124 States have signed; indeed, six member States of the Council of Europe have not done so.

      This has resulted in a lot of deception. The decisions are often perceived as having a political dimension, which is perhaps almost inevitable because there is often the question of identifying decision makers who have political power or have instigated a serious international conflict. There is no doubt that when judges take their jurisdictional decisions, they can be politically or even historically coloured: consider the fact that they might have to decide on whether a State is a failed State or a fragmented State and cannot therefore itself bring to justice a leader or decision maker. Furthermore, the investigations require co-operation that some States do not give or give only parsimoniously. Also, victims sometimes challenge the scope of the prosecution or consider that the sentence handed down was much too lenient.

      While it is criticised, however, and perhaps rightly so sometimes, the jurisdiction is essential for the construction of an international legal order, so we must continue with the strengthening and building of this court. We must invite member States that have not yet done so to ratify the Rome Statute and the related text, and to adopt legislation that transposes the provisions of that statute, and to co-operate with the court in a loyal, transparent and fair manner. At the same time, they must be more demanding of the standards and procedures of the ICC. The decisions must allow us to combat the most serious crimes against humanity.

      This could make it possible for us to prosecute and punish the perpetrators of crimes against individuals, and now also the unlawful exploitation of natural resources, the unlawful appropriation of land or the destruction of the environment.

      We can do more, and let us do more together.

      Ms MIKKO (Estonia) – As the head of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe delegation from Estonia, a country that chairs at the moment the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, I would like to emphasise the importance of the International Criminal Court as a beacon of hope in hopeless situations of gross human rights violations. The court helps to contribute to ending impunity and establishing the rule of law, which form the foundations of democratic principles and are also shared values of the Council of Europe. This is why it is especially important for our member States to show an example to less democratic States riven by more conflicts, and to show support for the ICC and the values it stands for. Universal ratification of the Rome Statute and its effective implementation are essential for strengthening the protection of human rights in the world. I especially call for all the Council of Europe member States who have not yet done so to ratify the Rome Statute. There are six of them, and I will not name them.

      The ICC key challenge remains the same: the need for co-operation of the States parties to enable investigation and prosecution, with particular emphasis on the arrest of the indictees. In this connection, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) could be called upon to back up its referrals and to take measures to encourage co-operation and the arrest of indictees, as currently not much happens in the UNSC after the referrals are made, other than listening to the regular reports of the court on the referrals.

The misperception that the court is against Africa is an ever-present issue, especially as certain African Union countries still raise it. Therefore, diplomatic and public support for the court in different forums, including the Council of Europe, is important. We should welcome the court’s increased efficiency in advancing investigations and trials, as it ensures greater institutional legitimacy for the court. The fact that the United Nations Security Council referrals are not being financed by the United Nations has not been addressed either.

Another challenge is how to encourage new States to join the Rome Statute. I agree with the rapporteur and encourage all States party to ratify the agreement on privileges and immunities of the court, as European Union member States have already done. It is important that they have a political will to adopt the implementing legislation. I thank the rapporteur for this work, which has been done with great dedication.

Ms PASHAYEVA (Azerbaijan)* – I thank the rapporteur. In my country, there is significant debate on this issue. I promise you that as soon as I get back, I will relay the constructive and friendly messages that I have received. War crimes and genocides must be prevented, and impunity should be prevented for all perpetrators. I personally lost some friends when Armenia occupied parts of our territory. They were civilians living in their homes, and one day Armenian soldiers raided their houses and killed them. So I know war crimes, and I am one of the most assertive opponents of those who have committed them. I will definitely relay my colleagues’ messages. We take a number of decisions here, and I am sure that we will adopt this resolution, but genocides continue, as do war crimes and crimes against humanity. It will not suffice for us to take decisions; we must ensure that we implement them. Only if we can do so and practise what we adopt can we bring to court those who have committed such crimes.

One member State cannot occupy the lands of another. We need to take serious steps. Armenia has been occupying our lands. More than 20 000 people have died, more than 4 000 have been taken as prisoners of war and more than 1 million are still displaced and cannot go back to their homes. During the Khojaly massacre, thousands of people were killed in a single night. Armenian soldiers did this, and we must ensure that they face charges for what they did. Unfortunately, many perpetrators have been promoted and are now rank higher in the hierarchy. Armenia has not fulfilled its commitments, and the European Union and United Nations have taken a number of decisions which have not been implemented.

I conclude with one call. One of my colleagues who was taken as a prisoner of war during the Khojaly massacre and remained a prisoner of war for a number of days published a book. We have translated it into English, and I will present a copy to you. She said, “Did you come to help me?” I said, “Yes.” She said, “Don’t help me. Just give me justice. If you give me justice, that would help me the most.” In many conflict areas, there is the same call. People are calling us to bring them justice. I support the report.

Ms ZOHRABYAN (Armenia)* – Unfortunately, Ms Pashayeva has been lying. She has presented you with falsification and lies. Every fact that she shared with you is simply untrue.

The genocide in northern Iraq committed by Daesh against ethnic Yazidis, as well as other war crimes and crimes against humanity, unfortunately continue, so it has become very urgent to put in place more flexible mechanisms for co-operation with the International Criminal Court. I agree with the rapporteur that our Assembly should confirm its commitment to combating impunity and call for support for the ICC.

From the very first days of the war in April, Azerbaijan committed an act of aggression against Nagorno-Karabakh by deploying troops, the air force, heavy artillery and rocket launchers, breaking the cease-fire agreement signed by the Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh, Azerbaijan and Armenia. The armed forces of Azerbaijan violated the standards of international law by using means of combat that are prohibited even in times of war, and violated standards of international humanitarian law by targeting peaceful communities, civilians, schools and homes, resulting in the death of several individuals protected by international law, including children.

During the aggression triggered by Azerbaijan in April, not only soldiers but civilians and children were cruelly tortured, killed, decapitated and dishonoured. Military weapons prohibited by international conventions were used. Torture and the decapitation of corpses and living human beings are acts beyond the conscience of any person with a sane mind. They are grave violations of international humanitarian law and result in obvious liability. What happened is indubitably a war crime and falls within the competence of the International Criminal Court.

Dear colleagues, you can understand that the Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh – as well as the Republic of Armenia, as a guarantor of the security of Nagorno-Karabakh – will do everything possible to ensure that Azerbaijan is recognised as a war criminal. At the beginning of April, the office of the Prosecutor General of Nagorno-Karabakh instituted criminal proceedings in the course of which it was confirmed that the armed forces of Azerbaijan had broken the 1994 cease-fire agreement and violated the territorial integrity of Nagorno-Karabakh, a signatory party to the agreement.

Azerbaijan must be recognised as a war criminal. A number of you are well aware of the ferocity of the Azeri barbarians. Of course, Azerbaijan has not yet ratified the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, yet the statute provides that situations such as this may be referred to the ICC by the United Nations Security Council, and that the prosecutor of the ICC is competent to open an investigation on his own initiative.

Mr EFSTATHIOU (Cyprus) – I congratulate the rapporteur, Mr Destexhe, on the report, as well as colleagues on the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights on the constructive arguments put forward in the text. Although the resolution before us is straightforward and consensual, it is important to stress that the mandate of the International Criminal Court needs to be bolstered at all levels, both in theory and in practice, bearing in mind that there is already a major drawback in that a number of States have not even become signatories to the Rome Statute. The universal ratification of the Rome Statute therefore remains a priority.

Though one can easily understand why States are reluctant to be subject to international law or institutions, it is imperative that all member States of the Council of Europe take this unpleasant but important step. Turkey, for instance, may find itself in a difficult position as a consequence of ratification, bearing in mind that to this day, Turkey has perpetrated the crime of aggression and war crimes against my country through the continuous colonisation of the occupied part of Cyprus and the destruction of its rich cultural heritage, according to the steady jurisprudence of the ECHR here in Strasbourg. There are, of course, other States that may find themselves in the same difficult position for various and different forms of behaviour, but those steps must be taken by all contracting States; otherwise, the role of the ICC will remain inadequate.

      In addition, we should make sure that national legislation procedures are in line with the Rome Statute. The principle of complementarity is endangered by the disparity between relevant legislations among the contracting parties. The situation is obvious, given that the ICC’s actions have political consequences.

      The international community should not deviate from uniformity as regards the application of international criminal law. The non-universal application of international criminal law results, among other things, in different national interpretation of the same legal terms; the use of different legal terms and notions for the same acts; and non-alignment with international jurisprudence, given the intervention of political factors. The answer to this challenge must come through the uniform application of international criminal law through the same standards and procedures.

      Finally, given that we are discussing international criminal law, the codification of customary international law is of great importance. If we do not succeed in this endeavour, I fear that it will lead us to another loud failure of a noble idea.

      Mr SCHRIJVER (Netherlands) – My name is almost as difficult to pronounce as that of our admirable rapporteur, Mr Destexhe. I welcome the report on how the Council of Europe, as an established international institution, could assist in the consolidation and strengthening of the International Criminal Court, a relatively young institution. The basics of the ICC and the challenges it faces are well spelled out in the excellent report.

      Like the universality of human rights, it is of the utmost importance to establish, on a universal basis, individual criminal responsibility for the most serious crimes that are of concern to the international community. Obviously, the primary work has to be done at a national level, given that the ICC is meant to have only complementary jurisdiction. Let us be honest: many national States are not yet up to the task of prosecuting and indicting those serious international crimes. The Council of Europe, as a rule of law organisation, has a role to play in assisting member States and observer States in that respect.

      I am pleased to note that the definition of a crime of aggression has at last been agreed. So far, 34 States have ratified the Kampala amendments to the Statute of Rome, including the Netherlands. That is an update on the report. In principle, the exercise of the ICC’s jurisdiction over aggression could become operational in 2017 – exactly 70 years after the pioneering work by the Nuremberg and Tokyo war crimes tribunals.

      Sadly, we have come to learn that crimes against peace and crimes of aggression are not things of the past on the continent of Europe. I refer to the Balkan War and the occupation of Crimea and parts of Georgia. All of that makes very pertinent the need for further ratifications and a concrete and expanded commitment by the Council of Europe to strengthen and co-operate with the ICC. I thank the rapporteur, Mr Destexhe, for his outstanding work in that respect.

      The PRESIDENT – Mr Tilson, is not here, so I call Mr Goncharenko.

      Mr GONCHARENKO (Ukraine) – I thank the rapporteur for his great work. The work of the International Criminal Court is extremely important. Unfortunately, awful crimes are being committed all over the world today – including terrorism, genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity – and they should be looked at by the ICC. At this moment, Russia is bombing Aleppo. Dozens of people are being killed, and hospitals and humanitarian convoys are being destroyed—

      The PRESIDENT – Mr Goncharenko, I am sorry to interrupt you, but you are not allowed to wear a T-shirt in the Chamber.

      Mr GONCHARENKO – But I can wear a shirt. Interesting. I will take it off and finish. I am sure that I will wear the T-shirt in the International Criminal Court when Putin will have to answer to it for MH17, Ukraine and Syria. Unfortunately, this is not just about Putin; there are dictators all over the world. We need a very strong ICC and for our and other institutions to take a strong position. That is the only way to stop the terrible crimes that we see in our world today.

      The PRESIDENT – Thank you, Mr Goncharenko. I call Mr Abushahla.

      Mr ABUSHAHLA – (Palestine, Partner for Democracy) – I express my deep appreciation for the great work of the rapporteur, Mr Destexhe, on his report on the importance of the ICC, which gives us hope for the victims of crimes against humanity and genocide, and which subjects them to justice by punishing and prosecuting criminals who thought that they had impunity.

We as Palestinians have been subjected to repeated attacks and war crimes for many years, starting with the occupation and including the Nakba and attacks on Gaza in 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012 and 2014. We dream about justice. During the 2014 Israeli attack on Gaza, 32 families were completely removed from the citizens civil register. Thousands were killed by missiles fired by the F-16 planes and by cannons. Most of them were innocent civilians, including children and women.

The siege of Gaza has lasted more than 10 years and has created a great humanitarian crisis. The people are deprived of the right to move or travel, and they are prevented from accessing thousands of items that they need for their daily lives, on the assumption of dual use. In addition, the Israeli occupation forces keep building settlements on our land. About 42% of the West Bank has been taken in order to build settlements for the Israelis.

Last week, the ICC made its first visit to Palestine. It gave us the hope that justice was coming, but unfortunately the delegation was prevented from visiting Gaza to find the facts on the ground and to meet the victims. We fear double standards, but the support and commitment of the Council of Europe revive the hope that justice will come.

      Mr GOPP (Liechtenstein) – Many thanks to the rapporteur, Mr Destexhe, for this important and excellent report. Through the resolution, the Assembly urges that the different documents are ratified as soon as possible. I urge the six Council of Europe member States that are yet to ratify the Rome Statute to do so. Universal ratification is vital in ending the impunity of the perpetrators of the most serious crimes.

      The Rome Statute system is based on consent. I welcome the fact that nearly half of the Council of Europe member States have ratified the Kampala amendments on the crime of aggression. I encourage all Council of Europe member States to ratify those amendments. Some 32 States in total have ratified the amendments, which enable States to decide whether to activate the ICC’s jurisdiction over the crime of aggression from 2017. I encourage all Council of Europe member States to support that.

      I also call on all Council of Europe member States party to the ICC to support the court, both politically and financially. The court needs additional funds to cope with its increasing caseload. Liechtenstein has launched an effort to enhance the capacity of the court in the areas of asset freezing and financial investigations. That enhanced capacity will help the prosecution to develop alternative ways of building cases and to rely less on witness testimony, which is costly and unreliable. We hope that other Council of Europe member States will join Liechtenstein in those efforts.

      I am happy to see that the work of Parliamentarians for Global Action was highlighted in the draft resolution. Liechtenstein works closely with the PGA to enhance the universality and effectiveness of the ICC.

      Finally, I hope that others will join Liechtenstein in the efforts to promote the universality of the Rome Statute, including the universality of the Kampala amendments on the crime of aggression.

      Mr KIRAL (Ukraine) – There have been calls for Ukraine to ratify the Rome Statute. Ukraine faces Russian aggression. That was defined by one of the two resolutions that we have passed in the Assembly today. I do not have a definite answer as to why Ukraine has not ratified the Rome Statute, but I can speculate on some likely reasons. Fair justice is key in establishing the rule of law in any country, including the countries aspiring to join the European Union in the future, such as Ukraine.

      There is no one particular reason why the Rome Statute has not been ratified. There are a myriad of reasons – interlinked causes stemming from deals and commitments made in 2013 and 2014, including to European and US partners. De facto, not de jure, Ukraine is at war with Russia. No amendments to the constitution can be made during war. Although we are not in a formal state of war or a state of emergency, the so-called fathers or creators of the constitution created it so as to avoid situations where Ukraine is forced to amend its constitution under external pressure. The Rome Statute requires us to amend our constitution. I remind the Assembly that the mandate to open cases against aggression only comes into effect in 2017. Would ratification change anything in terms of prosecuting those responsible for the aggression towards Ukraine?

      Secondly, we all like to talk about the Minsk accords as a way of putting an end to the war. They require Ukraine to amend its constitution. Had Ukraine declared a state of war, it would automatically have ruled out that option. That is not to say that not declaring war was the right thing to do. As a political group, we did not agree to that, but I can speculate that it was part of the deal between the then Ukrainian leadership and those supporting it in the face of an imminent Russian invasion. That potentially exposed top decision makers, who are obliged to defend the State, to the risk of ICC prosecution.

      The hybrid warfare that Ukraine is fighting is also triggering hybrid legal interpretations of actions and definitions, such as of who is involved in taking decisions. If Ukraine ratifies these things and Russia does not, does that mean that the victim would end up being probed?

      On a positive note, as the rapporteur has mentioned, there has been some progress on the Ukrainian side. The amendments to the constitution have been passed and fully enforced, creating possible Rome Statute ratification by 2019. I assure the Assembly that our political group has been strongly advocating Rome Statute ratification as soon as possible. We will not rest until that is done, and we will look for shortcuts.

      Mr Don DAVIES (Canada, Observer) – Let me first congratulate the rapporteur on an excellent report that clearly describes the issues relating to the International Criminal Court and the importance of co-operation with it. The ICC is the first permanent institution with universal jurisdiction that can bring to justice the perpetrators of the most serious crimes that are international in scope. In that regard, the co-operation of States is crucial in achieving the ideal of peace that inspires the ICC and its mandate: to put an end to impunity and to contribute to the prevention of new crimes. However, those objectives cannot be achieved without ongoing and sustainable support for budgets and diplomacy when it comes to investigations, prosecutions and the enforcement of sentences and releases.

      As indicated in the proposed resolution and the report prepared by the rapporteur, the ICC has no police force or law enforcement body. Accordingly, the court is entirely dependent on the co-operation of States and other international players for the process to run smoothly. As you know, Article 86 of the Rome Statute stipulates that States party have a general obligation to co-operate with the ICC. This co-operation begins with the universal ratification of the Rome Statute, as the Council of Europe recommends in Resolution 1644. It also requires States parties to incorporate the Rome Statute into domestic law, as Canada did in 2000 when it passed the Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Act. It was the first country to do that.

      The same logic applies to other ICC instruments, such as the “Agreement on the Privileges and Immunities of the lnternational Criminal Court” and the resolutions adopted at the Kampala review conference in 2010. Particular attention must be paid to the ratification of Resolution 6 adopted in Kampala, which expands the scope of the court’s jurisdiction and incorporates the crime of aggression. As stated in the preamble to the Rome Statute, States parties shall refrain from the threat or use of force against other States, which is also set out in Article 2 of the United Nations Charter. The exercise of the lCC’s jurisdiction with regard to crimes of aggression will help to ensure that the illegal use of force does not go unpunished and that heads of State and governments are held accountable for their actions.

      It is important to ensure that the ratification of a treaty and compliance with its provisions are more than just rhetoric. Respecting the rule of law is a fundamental principle of our modem societies and is one on which the lCC’s ideals of justice are founded. To guarantee an effective judicial process, it is critical that the ICC has the tools needed to fulfil its mandate. That begins and ends with the co-operation of States parties who have committed to that mandate.

      Ms ALQAWASMI (Palestine, Partner for Democracy) – I thank the rapporteur for this very important report at a very critical moment of history.

      On 2 January 2015, the State of Palestine became a member of the International Criminal Court, and on 26 June 2016 the State of Palestine ratified the Kampala amendment on war crimes. It was State No. 30 of the States that ratified this amendment. I therefore ask to correct the information that was mentioned in the report, Document 14138, on 22 September 2016 of the Council of Europe about the position of the State of Palestine with regard to the ICC. These were further steps on Palestine’s path of growing participation and dedication to the international legal field, of becoming an active member of the international community, and of ensuring international justice.

      The Rome Statute represents an indispensable instrument for international co-operation through the creation and institutionalisation of an independent and non-politicised system that seeks to put an end to impunity and ensure accountability, tackling obstacles that plague the peace process. The State of Palestine highly regards the work of the court and recognises its value in ensuring lasting respect for and enforcement of international justice.

      The PRESIDENT* – That concludes the list of speakers. I call Mr Destexhe to reply. You have three minutes left.

      Mr DESTEXHE (Belgium)* – I thank everyone who has spoken for their unanimous support for my report. I certainly did not hear any criticism of substance. You pretty much all supported and endorsed its approach. A number of speakers, including Mr Schrijver, mentioned the very young, fragile character of the court and how important it is to provide a fresh impetus to it. I fully subscribe to what you said. This is the aim of my report, among other things. This institution has been in existence for some time. Looking at the figures, only six people have been detained and 13 suspects are being sought. That is not all that many in comparison with the activities of any other courts working in our towns and cities. The aim of the court is to work in this field and we want to help it.

      As a number of speakers have pointed out, it is very regrettable that one of the most serious situations, relating to Islamic State – Daesh – in Syria and Iraq, has not been addressed as a result of some States not ratifying the Rome Statute. The Russian Federation has a veto that it can use at the United Nations Security Council. That means that members of the Security Council, of which there are many, can put forward a new resolution, but it runs the risk of meeting with a veto. We are very confident that Ukraine will ratify the Rome Statute. It has already stated that the jurisdiction of the court applies. Once Ukraine has ratified the court, the court’s jurisdiction can apply to the entire territory of Ukraine, including the occupied territories – that is, territories occupied by another power. First, however, it will be up to Ukraine to judge the crimes that occur, and the court is one of last resort.

      This report is seen as an action plan. Perhaps it is a bit cumbersome to read, because every time I have to mention countries that have failed to fulfil an obligation to ratify the Kampala agreement, we see that those 17 countries still have things to do. In this connection, I thank Mr Arnaut and others, because since the adoption of the report a few minor amendments have been tabled. I would like to table a factual oral amendment that will not change the substance of the report but takes on board the number of ratification signatures of the statute.

      The PRESIDENT – Mr Schwabe, would you like to reply? You have two minutes.

      Mr SCHWABE (Germany)* – Colleagues, I am not sure whether you have seen the heart-breaking video about the journey from Syria, but we need to come up with a targeted response. What is happening in Syria and the bombing that has been carried out, with the targeting of civilians and hospitals, represents war crimes. It is important to step up and strengthen the institutions that we have to protect us, one of which is the International Criminal Court. We need to ensure full compliance with international law. This can be done through dialogue, conversations and talks. That can also strengthen international law, which can be guaranteed by the International Criminal Court.

      As Mr Destexhe outlined, this is a very important report that reminds us of the need for an international criminal court and the importance of making use of it and strengthening it. We need to strengthen all the different provisions of the Rome Statute. The Rome Statute is the most important thing, but all the other legal instruments need to be ratified as well. It is not acceptable that some States – Azerbaijan, Armenia, Monaco, Russia, Turkey and Ukraine – have not have ratified the Rome Statute. It is very important for us to launch an appeal to all those countries to do so as soon as possible. I think there is unanimous agreement that this report can be approved by all.

      The PRESIDENT* – The general discussion is closed. The Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights has presented a draft resolution to which four amendments have been tabled. I believe that the Chairman of the committee suggests that Amendments 2 and 4, which were unanimously adopted by the committee, can be considered as having been adopted by the Assembly. Amendments 1 and 3 were also adopted unanimously. However, as these amendments have been subject to oral sub-amendments, they cannot be subject to the unanimous procedure. We will therefore submit to the unanimous procedure Amendments 2 and 4 only.

      Are there any objections? That is not the case.

      Amendments 2 and 4 are adopted.

      I have received an oral amendment from Mr Destexhe which is, in paragraph 4 of the draft resolution, to replace both instances of “Netherlands” with “Serbia”.

      The President may accept an oral amendment on the grounds of promoting clarity, accuracy or conciliation and if there is not opposition from 10 or more members to it being debated. In my opinion the oral amendment meets the rules. Is there any opposition to the amendment being debated? That is not the case.

      I therefore call Mr Destexhe to support the oral amendment. You have 30 seconds.

      Mr DESTEXHE (Belgium)* – As a colleague said earlier, the Netherlands ratified the Kampala amendments, which is not the case with Serbia. It is simply a factual amendment.

      The PRESIDENT* – Does anyone wish to speak against the oral amendment? That is not the case.

      The committee has not had an opportunity to consider the oral amendment.

      The vote is open.

      The oral amendment is adopted.

      We come to Amendment 1, which is, in the draft resolution, after paragraph 7, to insert the following paragraph:

      "The Assembly recalls Resolution 2091 (2016), on Foreign Fighters in Syria and Iraq, and the testimony of Nadia Murad, the 2016 recipient of the Vaclav Havel Human Rights Prize. The Assembly reiterates its urgent call on member States to fulfil their positive obligations under international law to prevent the ongoing genocide in Syria and Iraq, and to ensure the prosecution of those responsible for committing acts of genocide and other serious war crimes against Yazidis, Christians and other religious minorities in the region, especially where the perpetrators are citizens of member States and/or arrive on European soil. The Assembly deeply laments the fact that not one prosecution has been brought against these perpetrators of genocide and crimes against humanity."

      I call Mr van de Ven to support Amendment 1.

      Mr van de VEN (Netherlands) – I speak on behalf of Pieter Omtzigt. He commented that the Assembly was the first international institution in the world to declare that there was ongoing genocide in Syria and Iraq in the resolution on foreign fighters that was passed last year. Since then, very little has been done. The ICC has not begun any prosecutions and there has been little progress at the United Nations Security Council. We must remind our member States of their obligations under international law and encourage them to open prosecutions where ISIS/Daesh lands on European soil.

      The PRESIDENT* – I have been informed that Mr Destexhe wishes to propose an oral sub-amendment, on behalf of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights, which is, in Amendment 1, to delete the words “not one” and insert “hardly any”.

      In my opinion, the oral sub-amendment is in order under our rules. However, do 10 or more members object to the oral sub-amendment being debated? That is not the case.

      I therefore call Mr Destexhe to support the oral sub-amendment.

      Mr DESTEXHE (Belgium)* – Although this is a technical matter, we do not want there to be any errors. There are no proceedings for crimes against humanity or genocide instigated by the court although there is an issue of foreign fighters from Europe in Syria and Iraq. We need to look at whether proceedings have been instigated for crimes against humanity and genocide. It is impossible to check so we want to leave that possibility open if it does indeed apply in some member States of the Council of Europe.

      The PRESIDENT* – Does anyone wish to speak against the oral sub-amendment?

      That is not the case.

      What is the opinion of the mover of the main amendment?

      Mr van de VEN (Netherlands) – I am in favour.

      The PRESIDENT* – What is the opinion of the committee?

      Mr SCHWABE (Germany) – Approved unanimously.

      The PRESIDENT* – I will now put the oral sub-amendment to the vote.

      The vote is open.

      The oral sub-amendment is adopted.

      We will now consider the main amendment, as amended.

      Does anyone wish to speak against Amendment 1, as amended?

      That is not the case.

      What is the opinion of the committee?

      Mr SCHWABE (Germany) – Approved unanimously.

      The PRESIDENT* – I shall now put Amendment 1, as amended, to the vote.

      The vote is open.

      Amendment 1, as amended, is adopted.

      We come to Amendment 3, which has two oral sub-amendments. Amendment 3 is: "The Assembly calls on member States and observer States who are members of the United Nations Security Council, namely Russia, the United Kingdom, France, the United States, Spain and Ukraine, to collaborate and, within two months, to put a resolution to the United Nations Security Council which ensures the effective prosecution of those responsible for acts of genocide, crimes against humanity and other serious war crimes in Syria and Iraq."

      I call Mr van de VEN to support Amendment 3.

      Mr van de VEN (Netherlands) – As well as calling on the United Nations Security Council to act, we should be calling on specific member and observer States who have significant influence at the United Nations Security Council to collaborate and act and have the situation referred to the ICC.

      The PRESIDENT* – I have been informed that Mr Destexhe wishes to propose two oral sub-amendments, on behalf of the Legal Affairs Committee. The first oral sub-amendment is, in Amendment 3, to delete the word “Ukraine” and insert “, Japan and Ukraine”.

      In my opinion, Oral Sub-amendment 1 is in order under our rules.

      However, do 10 or more members object to the oral sub-amendment being debated?

      That is not the case.

      I therefore call Mr Destexhe to support the oral sub-amendment.

      Mr DESTEXHE (Belgium)* – Japan is a member of the Security Council and is an observer to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. We simply forgot Japan and want to add it back in here.

      The PRESIDENT* – Does anyone wish to speak against the oral sub-amendment?

      That is not the case.

      What is the opinion of the mover of the main amendment?

      Mr van de VEN (Netherlands) – I have no objection.

      The PRESIDENT* – What is the opinion of the committee?

      Mr SCHWABE (Germany) – Approved unanimously.

      The PRESIDENT* – I will now put the oral sub-amendment to the vote.

      The vote is open.

      Oral Sub-amendment 1 is adopted.

      We will now consider the Oral Sub-amendment 2, which reads, in Amendment 3, to delete the word “other serious” before the words “war crimes”.

      In my opinion, the oral sub-amendment is in order under our rules. However, do 10 or more members object to the oral sub-amendment being debated? That is not the case.

      I therefore call Mr Destexhe to support the oral sub-amendment.

      Mr DESTEXHE (Belgium)* – There is no hierarchy in war crimes. All war crimes are serious, which is why we want to introduce this change.

      The PRESIDENT* – Does anyone wish to speak against the oral sub-amendment? That is not the case.

      What is the opinion of the mover of the main amendment?

      Mr van de VEN (Netherlands) – I agree with Mr Destexhe.

      The PRESIDENT* – What is the opinion of the committee?

      Mr SCHWABE (Germany) – Agreed unanimously.

      The PRESIDENT* – I will now put the oral sub-amendment to the vote.

      The vote is open.

      Oral Sub-amendment 2 is adopted.

      We will now consider the main amendment, as amended.

      Does anyone wish to speak against the amendment, as amended?

      That is not the case. What is the opinion of the committee?

      Mr SCHWABE (Germany) – Agreed unanimously.

      The PRESIDENT* – I shall now put the amendment, as amended, to the vote.

      The vote is open.

      Amendment 3, as amended, is adopted.

      We will now proceed to vote on the whole draft resolution contained in Document 14136, as amended. A simple majority is required.

      The vote is open.

      The draft resolution in Document 14136, as amended, is adopted, with 44 votes for, 0 against and 0 abstentions.

3. Next public business

      The PRESIDENT* – The Assembly will hold its next public sitting tomorrow at 10 a.m. with the agenda which was approved this morning.

      The sitting is closed.

      (The sitting was closed at 8 p.m.)

CONTENTS

1. Joint debate: Political consequences of the conflict in Ukraine and Legal remedies for human rights violations on the Ukrainian territories outside the control of the Ukrainian authorities

Presentation by Ms Zelienková of report of the Committee on Political Affairs and Democracy in Document 14130

Presentation by Ms Beck of report of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights in Document 14139

Speakers: Mr Fischer, Ms Finckh-Krämer, Ms Reps, Sir Roger Gale, Mr Hunko, Mr Billström, Ms De Sutter, Mr Ariev, Mr Herkel, Mr Goncharenko, Le Borgn’, Ms L Ovochkina, Ms Gerashchenko, Ms Durrieu, Mr Nissinen, Mr Downe, Mr Sobolev, Ms Mikko, Mr Fournier, Mr Wilson, Mr Dzhemiliev, Ms Savchenko, Mr Mularczyk, Mr Yemets, Mr Lozovoy, Mr Don Davies, Mr Vareikis, Mr Zingeris, Mr Kiral, Mr Dişli, Ms Hoffmann, Ms Palihovici and Mr Whalen

Replies: Ms Beck, Mr Destexhe, Ms Zelienková and Mr Mogens Jensen

Amendments 15, 1 as amended, 2, 3, 12 as amended, 13, 14 as amended, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 9 to Document 14130 adopted

Draft resolution in Document 14130, as amended, adopted

Amendments 1, 8, 2, 3, 4, 5, 9, 10, 11, 15, 6, 12 as amended and 7 as amended, adopted

Draft resolution in Document 14139, as amended, adopted

2. Co-operation with the International Criminal Court: towards a concrete and expanded commitment

Presentation by Mr Destexhe of report of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights in Document 14136

Speakers: Mr Le Borgn’, Mr Jordana, Mr Evans, Ms Kerestecioğlu Demir, Mr Vlasenko,

Reply: Mr Destexhe

Speakers: Mr Arnaut, Ms Karamanli, Ms Mikko, Ms Pashayeva, Ms Zohrabyan, Mr Efstathiou, Mr Schrijver, Mr Goncharenko, Mr Abushahla, Mr Gopp, Mr Kiral, Mr Don Davies and Ms Alqawasmi

Replies: Mr Destexhe and Mr Schwabe

Amendments 2, 4, an oral amendment, 1 as amended and 3 as amended, adopted

Draft resolution, as amended, adopted

3. Next public business

Appendix / Annexe

Representatives or Substitutes who signed the register of attendance in accordance with Rule 12.2 of the Rules of Procedure.The names of members substituted follow (in brackets) the names of participating members.

Liste des représentants ou suppléants ayant signé le registre de présence, conformément ŕ l’article 12.2 du Rčglement.Le nom des personnes remplacées suit celui des Membres remplaçant, entre parenthčses.

ARENT, Iwona [Ms]

ARIEV, Volodymyr [Mr]

ARNAUT, Damir [Mr]

BAYKAL, Deniz [Mr]

BECK, Marieluise [Ms]

BERNACKI, Włodzimierz [Mr]

BİLGEHAN, Gülsün [Mme]

BILLSTRÖM, Tobias [Mr]

BILOVOL, Oleksandr [Mr]

BLONDIN, Maryvonne [Mme]

BRASSEUR, Anne [Mme]

BÜCHEL, Roland Rino [Mr] (HEER, Alfred [Mr])

BUDNER, Margareta [Ms]

CATALFO, Nunzia [Ms]

CHRISTOFFERSEN, Lise [Ms]

CILEVIČS, Boriss [Mr] (BĒRZINŠ, Andris [M.])

CIMOSZEWICZ, Tomasz [Mr] (POMASKA, Agnieszka [Ms])

CORLĂŢEAN, Titus [Mr] (NEACȘU, Marian [Mr])

CROZON, Pascale [Mme] (BAPT, Gérard [M.])

CRUCHTEN, Yves [M.]

DAEMS, Hendrik [Mr] (MAHOUX, Philippe [M.])

DESKOSKA, Renata [Ms]

DESTEXHE, Alain [M.]

DI STEFANO, Manlio [Mr]

DİŞLİ, Şaban [Mr]

DIVINA, Sergio [Mr]

DOKLE, Namik [M.]

DURRIEU, Josette [Mme]

DZHEMILIEV, Mustafa [Mr]

EFSTATHIOU, Constantinos [M.] (KYRIAKIDES, Stella [Ms])

ESEYAN, Markar [Mr]

EVANS, Nigel [Mr]

FAZZONE, Claudio [Mr] (BERNINI, Anna Maria [Ms])

FINCKH-KRÄMER, Ute [Ms]

FISCHER, Axel E. [Mr]

FOULKES, George [Lord] (PRESCOTT, John [Mr])

FOURNIER, Bernard [M.]

FRÉCON, Jean-Claude [M.] (DURANTON, Nicole [Mme])

FRIDEZ, Pierre-Alain [M.]

GAFAROVA, Sahiba [Ms]

GALE, Roger [Sir]

GAMBARO, Adele [Ms]

GERASHCHENKO, Iryna [Mme]

GHASEMI, Tina [Ms]

GIRO, Francesco Maria [Mr]

GONÇALVES, Carlos Alberto [M.]

GONCHARENKO, Oleksii [Mr]

GOPP, Rainer [Mr]

GORROTXATEGUI, Miren Edurne [Mme] (DOMENECH, Francesc Xavier [Mr])

GÜNAY, Emine Nur [Ms]

GUNNARSSON, Jonas [Mr]

GUZENINA, Maria [Ms]

HERKEL, Andres [Mr] (KROSS, Eerik-Niiles [Mr])

HETTO-GAASCH, Françoise [Mme]

HIGGINS, Alice-Mary [Ms] (CROWE, Seán [Mr])

HOFFMANN, Rózsa [Mme] (VEJKEY, Imre [Mr])

HOPKINS, Maura [Ms]

HÜBINGER, Anette [Ms]

HUNKO, Andrej [Mr]

HUSEYNOV, Vusal [Mr] (HAJIYEV, Sabir [Mr])

JAKAVONIS, Gediminas [M.]

JENSEN, Mogens [Mr]

JOHNSEN, Kristin Řrmen [Ms] (JENSSEN, Frank J. [Mr])

JÓNASSON, Ögmundur [Mr]

JORDANA, Carles [M.] (ZZ...)

JOVANOVIĆ, Jovan [Mr]

KALMARI, Anne [Ms]

KANDEMIR, Erkan [Mr]

KARAMANLI, Marietta [Mme]

KARLSSON, Niklas [Mr]

KERESTECİOĞLU DEMİR, Filiz [Ms]

KESİCİ, İlhan [Mr]

KIRAL, Serhii [Mr] (SOTNYK, Olena [Ms])

KLEINBERGA, Nellija [Ms] (LAIZĀNE, Inese [Ms])

KÖCK, Eduard [Mr] (AMON, Werner [Mr])

KORODI, Attila [Mr]

KOSTŘICA, Rom [Mr]

KOX, Tiny [Mr]

KRIŠTO, Borjana [Ms]

KÜÇÜKCAN, Talip [Mr]

L OVOCHKINA, Yuliya [Ms]

LE BORGN’, Pierre-Yves [M.]

LE DÉAUT, Jean-Yves [M.]

LEITE RAMOS, Luís [M.]

LEYDEN, Terry [Mr] (COWEN, Barry [Mr])

LĪBIŅA-EGNERE, Inese [Ms]

LOUCAIDES, George [Mr]

LOZOVOY, Andriy [Mr] (VOVK, Viktor [Mr])

MAURY PASQUIER, Liliane [Mme]

MEALE, Alan [Sir]

MENDES, Ana Catarina [Mme]

MIGNON, Jean-Claude [M.]

MIKKO, Marianne [Ms]

MILEWSKI, Daniel [Mr]

MILTENBURG, Anouchka van [Ms]

MULARCZYK, Arkadiusz [Mr]

MÜLLER, Thomas [Mr]

MUNYAMA, Killion [Mr] (HALICKI, Andrzej [Mr])

NENUTIL, Miroslav [Mr]

NIKOLOSKI, Aleksandar [Mr]

NISSINEN, Johan [Mr]

OBREMSKI, Jarosław [Mr] (WOJTYŁA, Andrzej [Mr])

OHLSSON, Carina [Ms]

ÖNAL, Suat [Mr]

O’REILLY, Joseph [Mr]

PACKALÉN, Tom [Mr]

PALIHOVICI, Liliana [Ms] (NEGUTA, Andrei [M.])

PALLARÉS, Judith [Ms]

PASHAYEVA, Ganira [Ms]

PECKOVÁ, Gabriela [Ms] (BENEŠIK, Ondřej [Mr])

POCIEJ, Aleksander [M.] (KLICH, Bogdan [Mr])

POSTOICO, Maria [Mme] (VORONIN, Vladimir [M.])

PREDA, Cezar Florin [M.]

QUÉRÉ, Catherine [Mme] (ALLAIN, Brigitte [Mme])

QUINTANILLA, Carmen [Mme]

RAWERT, Mechthild [Ms] (DROBINSKI-WEIß, Elvira [Ms])

REPS, Mailis [Ms]

RODRÍGUEZ RAMOS, Soraya [Mme] (BATET, Meritxell [Ms])

SAVCHENKO, Nadiia [Ms]

SCHENNACH, Stefan [Mr]

SCHRIJVER, Nico [Mr]

SCHWABE, Frank [Mr]

ŠEPIĆ, Senad [Mr]

SIEBERT, Bernd [Mr]

SILVA, Adăo [M.]

SOBOLEV, Serhiy [Mr]

SPADONI, Maria Edera [Ms] (ASCANI, Anna [Ms])

SUTTER, Petra De [Ms] (VERCAMER, Stefaan [M.])

TARCZYŃSKI, Dominik [Mr]

THIÉRY, Damien [M.]

TORNARE, Manuel [M.] (FIALA, Doris [Mme])

TORUN, Cemalettin Kani [Mr]

TRUSKOLASKI, Krzysztof [Mr]

USTA, Leyla Şahin [Ms]

UYSAL, Burhanettin [Mr] (BABAOĞLU, Mehmet [Mr])

VÁHALOVÁ, Dana [Ms]

VALEN, Snorre Serigstad [Mr]

VAREIKIS, Egidijus [Mr] (SKARDŽIUS, Arturas [Mr])

VARVITSIOTIS, Miltiadis [Mr] (CHRISTODOULOPOULOU, Anastasia [Ms])

VĖSAITĖ, Birutė [Ms]

VILLUMSEN, Nikolaj [Mr]

VLASENKO, Sergiy [Mr] (LOGVYNSKYI, Georgii [Mr])

WILK, Jacek [Mr]

WILSON, Phil [Mr] (CRAUSBY, David [Mr])

XUCLŔ, Jordi [Mr]

YEMETS, Leonid [Mr]

ZELIENKOVÁ, Kristýna [Ms]

ZINGERIS, Emanuelis [Mr]

ZOHRABYAN, Naira [Mme]

Also signed the register / Ont également signé le registre

Representatives or Substitutes not authorised to vote / Représentants ou suppléants non autorisés ŕ voter

ĹBERG, Boriana [Ms]

CORREIA, Telmo [M.]

EROTOKRITOU, Christiana [Ms]

KYRIAKIDES, Stella [Ms]

Observers / Observateurs

DAVIES, Don [Mr]

DOWNE, Percy [Mr]

LARIOS CÓRDOVA, Héctor [Mr]

LOZANO ALARCÓN, Javier [Mr]

LUNA CANALES, Armando [Mr]

RAMÍREZ NÚŃEZ, Ulises [Mr]

SIMMS, Scott [Mr]

TILSON, David [Mr]

WHALEN, Nick [Mr]

Partners for democracy / Partenaires pour la démocratie

ABUSHAHLA, Mohammedfaisal [Mr]

ALQAWASMI, Sahar [Ms]

SABELLA, Bernard [Mr]