The Council of Europe's Commissioner for Human Rights has canceled his planned visit to Russia.
In a statement published on the Council of Europe's website, Commissioner Nils Muiznieks cited “unacceptable restrictions imposed on his program” as the reason for the cancellation.
The Commissioner also wrote that Russian authorities wanted to restrict his October visit to just 48 hours in Moscow alone, which he believed “would not have allowed sufficient time to carry out a substantive country visit.”
“A key element of my work is that I treat all countries by the same standards,” the Commissioner wrote. “Accepting the special conditions requested by the Russian authorities would have been unjust as a matter of principle and ineffective for the protection of human rights in the Russian Federation.”
In the conclusion to his statement, Commissioner Muiznieks expressed hope that Russian authorities would change their demands and restore “full cooperation.” He concluded that he would continue following the human rights situation in Russia “from afar.”