MOSCOW ( Associated Press) — Russia has pulled out of a European anti-corruption conference after being kicked out of the Council of Europe over its actions in Ukraine.
Russian President Vladimir Putin called on the State Duma, the lower house of parliament, to end its accession to the European Council’s convention on combating corruption, which Russia signed in 1999. The date for the vote has not yet been set. But it is expected to happen soon.
Putin claimed in his letter to the State Duma that the withdrawal was the result of a council decision to ban Moscow’s participation in the body overseeing general compliance with the convention, which he called “unacceptable” and “discriminatory”. ” Said.
The Council of Europe, the continent’s main human rights organization, suspended Russia’s involvement on 24 February, shortly after sending its troops into Ukraine. Moscow withdrew from the council in March, warning that it would also quit conventions signed as part of the organization’s membership. In September it withdrew from the European Convention on Human Rights.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Monday that Russia’s withdrawal from an anti-corruption conference would not affect efforts to combat it.
“This will in no way undermine our legal framework for combating corruption,” Peskov told reporters. He added that Russia would continue to cooperate in the fight against corruption with “friendly” countries, noting that such cooperation with “unfriendly” nations has anyway come to a standstill.