The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) voted Wednesday to deprive Russia of its rights within the assembly for the second consecutive session, a decision that could mark the country's exit from the legislative body, state news agency RIA Novosti reported.
PACE voted last April to suspend some of the Russian delegation's rights within the assembly, including its rights to vote and be represented on certain committees. The decision came in the aftermath of Russia's annexation of Crimea, which PACE said "constituted, beyond any doubt, a grave violation of international law."
PACE's monitoring committee adopted Wednesday an amendment to the resolution that had stripped Russia of its rights, prolonging the limitations on its full participation in the organization. Russian parliamentarian Leonid Slutsky told RIA Novosti that 35 parliamentarians had voted in favor of the amendment, while 34 cast their ballots against it.
State Duma speaker Sergei Naryshkin, who leads the Russian delegation to PACE, told Russian media that the country would no longer take part in the assembly if it was stripped of its rights once again.