Even before the Ukraine crisis, Russia was a difficult member of the Council of Europe. Its representatives instrumentalized the Parliamentary Assembly as a stage, both in Strasbourg and in the Russian media. Instead of working to improve democracy and human rights in Russia, they fought to blunt criticism of it in Assembly documents. They did not hesitate to forge coalitions with countries like Azerbaijan and groups like the British Conservatives, with whom they worked to undermine the Council of Europe’s principles. …

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Susan Stewart / Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik © 2016