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Russia ceased on Wednesday to be a member of the Council of Europe after 26 years as a result of the war in Ukraine, announced the body that defends human rights and democratic principles.
The Committee of Ministers, the Council of Europe’s decision-making body, thus completed the application of Article 8 of its Statute to exclude it, it explained in a statement.
Last February 25, with the beginning of the invasion of Ukraine, Russia’s participation had been suspended and this Wednesday the expulsion was formalized.
The Secretary-General of the Council of Europe, Marija Pejcinovic, underlined that the process that has ended with this expulsion began because the attack on Ukraine “goes against everything we stand for and constitutes a violation of our statute and of the European Convention on Human Rights.”
The ambassadors meeting in the Committee of Ministers to formalize the exclusion had at the same time the request of the Russian authorities to leave the organization, based on another of the articles of its statute, Article 7.
But what prevailed was the process opened on February 25 to apply Article 8, which means that this is the first expulsion of a member state in the nearly 73-year history of the organization.
Once announced, several officials of the Council of Europe proceeded to lower the Russian flag from the entrance of the Palace of Europe in Strasbourg, where it was flying alongside those of the other 46 member states, including Ukraine.