3 delegates in favor of suspending Russia's voting rights

STRASBOURG, BELGRADE -- The Serbian delegation at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) did not have a united stance during the voting on Thursday, it has emerged.

(Tanjug, file)
(Tanjug, file)

When this organization took a vote to suspend Russia's voting rights until the end of this year, three Serbian members voted in favor, two against, while one abstained.

A day earlier, on Wednesday, PACE adopted a separate document, a resolution condemning Russia over the crisis in Ukraine. On that occasion, members of this body from Serbia abstained from voting.

But on Thursday, two Serbian delegation members from the opposition Democratic Party (DS), and one from the United Regions of Serbia (URS), which will not be represented in Serbia's new parliament, voted in favor of revoking Russia's voting rights.

At the same time, two MPs from the ranks of the ruling Progressives (SNS) and one from the SPS voted against, while the representative from the Liberal-Democratic Party (LDP) - which is also left out of the new parliament in Serbia - abstained from voting.

The MPs who voted in favor are Vesna Marjanović and Nataša Vučković of the DS, and Vladimir Ilić (URS).

Ilić's party issued a statement on Friday saying that the United Regions of Serbia distanced itself from the "scandalous gesture" of its member.

The statement added that Ilić voted "without any prior consultations with the party," and that his stance "in no way represents the official position of the URS, which is completely in accordance with the state policy of neutrality when it comes to the crisis in Ukraine."

The Democrats told B92 that they would "soon" issue a statement of its own regarding the behavior of their two MPs.

The PACE vote on Thursday saw 145 members of the assembly vote in favor, 21 against, while 22 abstained.

According to reports, "Serbia is not the only country whose delegates voted in different ways."

The Russian delegation boycotted the debate yesterday, describing it as a "farce," and announcing it would leave PACE.