Russia decided this Tuesday (15th) to start “the procedure to withdraw” from the European Council, accusing NATO and the European Union (EU) of transforming it into an instrument at the service of “its political-military and economic expansion to the East”.
“The Russian Federation’s withdrawal notice from the organization” was delivered on Tuesday to its secretary general, Marija Pejcinovic Buric, according to a statement from the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on its Telegram account.
“Those who force us to take this step will bear full responsibility for the destruction of the continent’s common humanitarian and legal space and for the consequences for the European Council itself, which, without Russia, will lose its pan-European status,” he added.
The Atlantic Alliance and the EU, says the Ministry, “only see this organization as an instrument of ideological support for their political-military and economic expansion to the East”.
In its statement, Russian diplomacy accuses the Council’s institutions, including the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), its judicial body, of being “systematically used to exert pressure on Russia and interfere in internal affairs”.
From the day after the start of the Russian offensive on February 24 in Ukraine, the European Council decided to suspend Russia’s participation in its different bodies, except for the ECHR, the last resort for the 145 million Russian citizens.
The European Council, created in 1949, brings together almost all the states on the continent, 47 in total, including Russia, since 1996, and Ukraine, since 1995.