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Home arrow newsitems arrow CoE Assembly SG Sawicki to EF: Russia Deal legally possible during 1st Half of 2019+

CoE Assembly SG Sawicki to EF: Russia Deal legally possible during 1st Half of 2019+

Written by ACM
Friday, 18 January 2019
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*Strasbourg/CoE/Angelo Marcopolo/- Despite current Claims that Latest Developments would inevitably Exclude Russian MEPs from CoE's PanEuropean Assembly (PACE), on pretext of the Ukranian éConflict, also during All the Year 2019, (See Infra), on the contrary, PACE's Experienced Secretary General, Wojciech Sawicki, replying to "Eurofora"s questions, confirmed that it is still Legally Possible to strike a Deal during 2019, and particularly at its 1st Half.


This clearly results from what he told us Today, during a CoE's Press Briefing with Strasbourg's European Journalists on the forthcoming Winter Plenary Session of the PACE Next Week in Strasbourg, (21-25 January 2019), as well as on Earlier occasions, but also from relevant Expectations of other interested sources, concerning probable Political Developmens inside Ukraine itself, which is notoriously preparing National Presidential and Parliamentary Elections on March and Autumn 2019, respectively, (See Infra).


A Last-Minute Top Meeting, at nearby Geneva, last Monday, between PACE's new President, Swiss  MEP Liliane Maury Pasquier, and Russian Duma's deputy Speaker,
Pyotr Tolstoi, and Council's Foreign Affairs Committees' President, Constantin Kosachev (Comp.:..., etc), following the Limits of a Controversial Procedure and Draft Report by Belgian MEP Petra de Sutter on making Relevant Changes to PACE's Rules, (Comp.: ...., etc), did Not manage to mark yet any real Breakthrough, agreeing, nevertheless, to keep going at least a Dialogue also in the foreseable Future.


An UnPrecedented 3,5 Years total Absense of any Russian MEP inside the Paneuropean PACE (2/2014-1/2019), provoked by a Controversial, Last Minute Amendment, Tabled and voted by a Minority of MEPs who smashed a Deal prepared by PACE's Political and Monitoring Committees' Presidents then, was Followed by Moscow's subsequent Decision to Freeze, (initially a Part, and Afterwards the whole), of its Annual Financial Contribution to the CoE, so that Now, the PanEuropean Organisation is reportedly preparing to Cut its Budget and Staff for - 11%, while Measures as Suspension, etc., are expected vis a vis Russia from June 2019, unless a Solution is found beforehand.


Meanwhile, already, Moscow's recent Decisions, reportedly anounced just Yesterday (Thursday), to Continue to withhold its MEPs from coming to Strasbourg on Monday, at the Beginning of PACE's 1st Plenary Session for 2019, as long as PACE has Not yet Guaranteed the inviolability of all MEPs' Democratic Rights to Vote, Speak and Participate, etc., (even from Other CoE's Member Countries, as a matter of General Principle, applicable to all), apparently Risk to have far-reaching consequences.


Indeed, given the established Fact that, until now, the Ratification of MEPs' Credenials is routinely done at the Beginning of the Session of January, for the entire Year to come, almost all commentators concluded  that, if the Russian MEPs really don't come to Strasbourg on Monday, then, they would be practically Excluded from PACE for the whole Year of 2019... And as that conditions Moscow's Payment, or not, of its Annual Contribution (Comp. Supra), then, a probable Non-Payment until June, would give to CoE's Committee of Ministers an opportunity to "Suspend" Russia's Membership to the CoE. In that case, the Foreign Minister Lavrov and others have already said that Russia would definitively Withdraw from the CoE...


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But, is Now, this "Catastrophe" Scenario really so Inevitable and Fatal, as most Medias and Observers claim ?


- "Eurofora" raised Today anew the Question of eventually possible Alternative Solutions to PACE's Experienced Secretary General, and he Confirmed that, at least in Theory, it is still Legally Feasible, "if a Political Will exists", as he underlined:


>>> To put it in a nutshell, an Important Possibility corresponds to a practical Suggestion initially done by "Eurofora", already more than a Year ago, that Sawicki has already Acknowledged to be Possible : I.e., instead of Examining the Credentials of National Delegations Only Once per Year, (on January), the PACE should become able to do so at the beginning of Any Plenary Session, i.e. at least 4 Times per Year : January, April, June and October, (See: http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/coereformtoeaserussiasolution.html , etc).


PACE's Secretary General clearly Confirmed Today, in Reply to a fresh Question by "Eurofora" that this was, indeed, Possible, if CoE's Assembly and Committee of Ministers agreed to UpDate the Rules of Procedure (for the 1st) and CoE's Statute (for the 2nd) on a Key-Point of PACE's Plenary Sessions, in the Same way, and Fast enouph, in Parallel, (See for concrete Details : http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/russiaandpacecrisismayberesolved.html , http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/coereformtoeaserussiasolution.html , etc).


- This is "Easy" to do "Fast" enough, if PACE and CM Agree on the precise Text that they want, since, in that case, there is No Need for Ratification Procedures inside Each one among CoE's 47 Member Countries, and all can be done here, in Strasbourg, he clearly reiterated.


- But this naturally implies the existence of a clear "Political Will", among COE's Member States, Sawicki underlined anew :


=> Something that Now, Obviously points mainly at an Important, forthcoming Presidential Election in Ukraine, at the End of March 2019, where former Prime Minister Julia Timoshenko (Comp. several Timoshenko statements to "Eurofora", as well as or her Daughter and Lawyer [currently MEP] during ECHR's proceedings against her Imprisonment, f.ex. at: ..., ...., ..., ..., etc) and/or various Other Candidates bypass or match the Out-going President Pedro Poroshenko's ratings in many Polls, in a way which apparently indicates that Ukranian People mighty have had enough of the still on-going, Deadly and Destructive Division of the Country up to War since 2014, Corruption and Economic Slowdown, etc., so that a Positive Change might have, hopefully, become Possible, closer towards Peace in the forseable Future.

- But, when "Eurofora" asked further Sawicki "Until When" does PACE have the Time to eventually Decide to do as advised (Comp. Supra), his Reply was that it must be done, at the latest, "on April" 2019, i.e. at the Next Plenary, of Spring 2019 : Something which practically Excludes the 2nd and Final Round of those Ukranian Presidential Elections, since next PACE it's scheduled towards the Beginning of April, while that Election's 2nd and Decisive Round is scheduled for Later-on, towards the End of April... This leaves Only the June 2019 PACE Plenary for all those required actions : F.ex., Decision to make a Peace Deal, Changes of CoE Statute and PACE's Rules of Procedure, Effective and Adequate Use of such New Possibilities, etc.


Certainly, as Sawicki also observed, CoE's current Rules do Not Oblige its Committee of Ministers to effectively "Suspend" a Member Country's participation, if it doesn't pay its Annual Financial Contribution during 2 Years until next June, but it Simply says that it "MAY" do so, whenever it believes fit, after that point, (i.e., f.ex. on July, September, October, etc).


Nevertheless, the Fact that on June 2019 PACE notoriously has also to Elect the New CoE's Secretary General, for the Next 5 Years (2020-2024), etc., (while Both a CoE Committee of Ministers' Legal Expertise, and PACE's Committee on Rules of Procedure have recently found that All CoE's Member States must Participate and Vote in a so Important Choice), pleads for a Deal preferably brokered Earlier : F.ex. on May.


=> Could it be done, perhaps at the May 2019 "Standing" Committee (may be in Paris) ?


Or, rather, by ...Adding anOther, 5th, "Exceptional" PACE's Plenary Session, precisely on May 2019, giving even anOther such Possibility to Gain precious Time : Indeed, as Sawicki has told us previously it could have one More Opportunity to Deal with the Issue of Russian MEPs' Credentials, and/or Change its own Rules, in this regard.

- Such a Move is Legally Possible, since, currently, PACE's Rules of Procedure provide for "up to 30 Days" for PACE's Full Meetings during Each Year, while, until now, "we don't use but only 20 such Days, Yearly", (i.e. 4 regular Plenaries X 5 Days each = 20, leaving +10 More Days, theoretically Free to be used whenever PACE might like to do so), as he had told us earlier, (See: http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/russiaandpacecrisismayberesolved.html ).


In such case, Ukranian Presidential Elections would have also completely finished, (Comp. Supra), and, probably, a New Political Context created by the Ukranian Voters, Hopefully more Favorable to Peace-making.


+ A priori, it's not excluded that it might even include a Fair Trial and/or Liberation from Prison for the Famous former Popular Ukranian Heroine, Nadiya Savchenko : The World-known Army Airplane Pilot, who served at Iraq and volunteered in Donbas (Eastern Ukraine), before being Jailed for 2 Years in Russia, (accused of Complicity to Murders), struggling in jail with Hunger Strikes, etc., but afterwards Freed (by Russian President Vladimir Putin's "pardon" and an exchange with 2 Russian Prisoners jailed in Ukraine), after an International Campain for her release, and triomphally returned back to Kiev, Welcomed by President Poroshenko, Julia Tymoshenko, and many People, Elected new MP at the 1st rank of her Party's List, appointed at the Ukranian Delegation to CoE's Parliamentary Assembly in Strasbourg, (etc).


Curiously, Savchenko, after being personaly engaged in efforts to Liberate Prisoners and find "Missing" People from Both Sides at Eastern Ukraine, while also Criticizing Government Corruption, focused on Seeking to Help Peace and Stop that Bloody War, (which has already Killed about 10.000 People, mostly innocent Civilians), became a Critic of Out-going President Poroshenko, accused him and otherts to have Betrayed Maidan's Popular Movement's Values, and Called for Direct Peace Talks between the 2 Sides of Ukranians : Kiev Government and Donetsk-Luhansk pro-Autonomy Regions, (considering the Crimea peninsula a comparatively secondary matter). This made her Opponents from the current Establishment slander her, and Exclude her from the Ukranian Delegation at the CoE in Strasbourg, and even Strip her from her Elected MP Status.


At that juncture, when she reacted also by Accusing a High-Standing Kiev Politician, (engaged at a Key role at Maidan's muscled uprising, then as Top Security Counselor to the 1st acting President of the Kiev regime issued from Bloody Street Clashes on 2014 : Turchynov, including in Kiev's Deadly Military Attacks on the Russian-speaking, pro-Autonomous Historic City of Slavyansk, etc), to have personaly and directly Backed severtak of those Armed "Snipers" who notoriously Targetted and Killed, at Maidan Square, Both Demonstrators and Policemen, provoking Massive Bloody Violent Clashes which Topped the 1st Peace Agreement on Ukraine, that had been Signed Both by the elected but controversial, mainly pro-Russian President Yanukovich, and All the Leaders of the Maidan Demonstrators, under the Auspices of the EU, represented at Kiev on February 2014 by 3 Foreign Ministers of France, Germany and Poland : Fabius, Steinmeier and Sikorski, as well as Ratified by the Ukranian Parliament by 35 v. 2, providing for General Amnesty, Government of National Unity, Presidential Elections that same Year, etc, that was afterwards Rejected by those same Demonstrators' Leaders),

Suddenly, Nadiya Savchenko was immediately Accused, by Kiev's Prosecutor, to plan a ...Bloody Putsch against the current Regime, including Bombing of the Parliament and Murdering President Poroshenko, etc, through Weapons smuggled from the pro-Autonomy Regions, etc., and Shortly afterwards Arrested and Jailed, on February 2018 !


Since then, (i.e. during almost 1 Year now), the former Top Heroine of Maidan's Ukraine, has been Continuously Kept Closed in Prison, (with several "Extensions" of her Detention, despite many Hunger Strikes, and Initial Courts' Judgements asking to let her Free and refusing to block her properties, soon overun), at least until the End of December 2018 included, (with astonishingly Few Informations published on her current short in English, to the point that it's Not easy to clearly find what happens to her Nowadays)...


According to Recent available Press News, she would have been Operated in a Prison's Hospital, and her Health would have reportedly Suffered  from her Latest Hunger Strike, to the point to Exceptionally Hinder her even to be Present at a Court's Hearing, while doing desperate efforts to access her personal Bank Account in order to be officialy Registered among the numerous Candidates to the forthcoming, Mars 2019 Presidential Election, (Comp. Supra).


Indeed, Nadiya Savshenko was among the First to Positively reply to Press Questions about her wish to run for next President in Ukraine, exposing her Political Views for a Peaceful Solution of the Conflict, as Early as already since 2016, and, Afterwards, she reportedly Confirmed that even more clearly, during 2017-2018.


Julia Tymoshenko, while having Dissociated herself from most Savshenko's controversial attempts for Direct Contacts and Talks between Kiev and the pro-Autonomy Regions, etc., (Comp. Supra), and having accepted also her late expulsion from her Party, nevertheless, has Not yet denounced Nadiya Savshenko's personaly, and would have said that she does Not Regret to have selected her in order to run at the 1st Place of her Party's List, back in the Latest 2014 Parliamentary Elections.


>>> Meanwhile, CoE's High Level Panel on Ukraine, set up by Secretary General Thornbjorn Jagland, and composed by former ECHR President Sir Nicolas Bratza from the UK, as well as by 2 Ukranian Senior Officials, in order to Supervise Investigations on the Bloody "Maidan" Events of February 2014, (Comp. Supra), and afterwards also on the Tragic Deaths of Civilians, critical to the subsequent Government, most Burned Alive during other Violent Clashes at Odessa on May 2014, has notoriously Concluded that Kiev regime's Authorities blatantly Failed on their Duty to Investigate that Key Issue of those Mysterious Deadly "Snipers" who reportedly pushed to Drop a 1st Peace Agreement and provoked Bloody Clashes (Comp. Supra).


So that it would obviously be Interesting to know what Nadiya Sevchenko may really have to say on those Mysterious Kiev's "Snipers", if and when, the forthcoming Political Developments inside Ukraine, might, eventually, allow her also to find anew at least her Freedom of Speech.


(../..)
 

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(NDLR : "DraftNews", as already send, Earlier, to "Eurofora"'s Subscribers/Donors. A more accurate, full Final Version, might be Published asap).


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Former "Green-Red" German government's Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer's job at the controversial Turkish pipeline "Nabucco" was denounced as "not proper", "very bad", and "incompatible with Democracy", by the new President of EU Parliament's EuroLeft Group, German Lothar Bisky, replying to an "EuroFora" question.

For once, criticism of Joschka Fischer's doings with Turkey affecting Europe, didn't come only from the Center-Right of the political spectrum, but even from his Left side : The experienced Bisky, who has been chairing all over 1993-2009 the PDS - Die Linke party :  

- "Former Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer got involved in dealings with oil-gaz business in a foreign country, Turkey, and its controversial Nabucco pipeline. This raises questions about Democracy, also because of the well known problems of Human Rights violations in that country. Do you thing that this might be abused in order to cover up and close EU's eyes on Human Rights violations ?", "EuroFora" asked Bisky.

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- "Nabucco pipeline is (only) at the planning stage". And "there are some difficulties",  he observed from the start. But "'I don't want to get into the details of Nabucco pipeline, because I don't think that there is any point for it at the moment".
 
At any case,  "we  (EU Parliament's EuroLeft Group) strongly believe that Politicians should not get involved in the Energy Business, and all these commercial transactions", President Bisky declared on the Joschka Fiischer's affair.

- "We feel that it's something that shouldn't be done. It's not proper !"           

- "We don't think that it's compatible with Democracy either, and it gets politics into a very Bad track", Bisky went on to denounce.
                                                                                                                                                                        
- "EuroLeft  and "Die Linke" always spoke against that, saying that politicians should not get directly into the arms of private enterprises"

- "It is pretty bad if a former Minister takes a job f.ex. in a major Energy producer. So, it's an issue if a Minister who may have seen excellent opportunities, subsequently gets personally grasp of them, in very serious parts of the economy, once he has given up his (Government) job."

- "It doesn't really make politics in general look any better'", Bisky concluded.

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Earlier, this week in Strasbourg, other Journalists had also raised critical questions on former Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer's involvement in the conroversial Turkish Nabucco pipeline to the President of his own EuroParty : Kohn-Bendit of the "Greens", who, contrary to Bisky, tried to find excuses for Fischer, while criticizing his long-time partner, Schroeder for having done a similar move :

- "Shroeder was chancellor", and he "negociated" with "Russians", who gave him a job only "3 Months" after he resigned from the Government. While "Joschka Fischer", on the contrary, got a job with the controversial Turkish Nabucco pipeline only "4 Years after" he left the Government. "He didn't negociate Nabucco", so I have "no objection", Kohn Bendit claimed.

But, many Facts indicate the contrary :

Joschka Fischer was Foreign Minister in Germany from 1999 up to 2005 : I.e. from the year that EU took the controversial decision to give Turkey a "Candidate" status, until he year it started controversial "accession negotiations, (later declared "open-ended" after Sarkozy-Merkel's arrival from 2005-2007).

During that period was prepared the controversial so-called "Annan" Plan (in fact, drafted by others and attributed afterwards to the former UN SG) on Cyprus, which failed after a Popular Referendum said "No" on 2004 with a large Majoriy of 3/4 : 75%. Mainly because it was criticized for making too much concessions to the Turkish side :  Particularly by restricting Greek Cypriot Refugees' Human Right to return to their ancestral Land and/or get restitution of their Familiy Homes and private properties, usurpated by Ankara's Army since the 1974 militay invasion and continuing occupation of the northern part of Cyprus. And by weakening the Central Government, leaving to 2 "constituent States" so much powers and separate interests that more conflicts appeared inevitable, provoking the danger of a break-down in the foreseable future, with more crisis, troubles, perhaps bloodshed, etc., instead of creating an harmoniously integrated, really one federal State.

The controversial Plan was finalized on March-April 2004 at Burgenstock (Switzerland), curiously in the presence of an Envoy by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Germany, then governed by Joschka Fischer, but in the absence of a French and not even an European Union's Envoy, contrary to what was usually practiced on similar occasions in Switzerland (fex. in 1997 at Montreux, in 2000 at Geneva, etc).

Turkey notoriously exploited the failure of the "Annan" Plan in order to convince the EU to decide to start accession Negotiations on December 2004. This provoked an unprecedented series of Institutional Crisis inside the EU, shortly afterwards, when French and Dutch People rejected, 2 popular EuroReferenda by a majority "'No" vote to the EU Constitutional Treaty on 2005, aggraveted in 2004 a Majority Abstention to EU Elections, etc., followed by the recent Irish "No", etc.

"Nabucco" Gas pipeline was notoriously planned since ..2002. It follows an even earlier idea, for an Oil pipeline Baku-Ceyhun, which started to be prepared on 1999-2001 and was meanwhile recently completed.  

So, facts indicate that what is now at stake is based on decisions made during Joschka Fischer's term as former Foreign Minister, closely interested in Turkey's controversial EU-bid.

To the point that he now practically ...switched jobs with a poliician from Turkey, (the State which pays today openly Joschka Fischer), Mr. Ozdemir, who came earlier in Germany, got fast the nationality, and became EiuroMP in a few years, continuing now as head of the "Greens" in Germany, i.e. in Joschka's former job !...

Such astonishing facts risk, unfotunately, to give to German politician Lothar Bisky's criticism of  representative Democracy a topical meaning :

 - "We (EuroLeft Group) think that what is really at stake is Democracy. It's not only about Gas Pipelines or Energy sources", President Lothar Bisky went on to add in his reply to "EuroFora"'s question on Joscka Fischer's personal interests in the controversial Turkish "Nabuco" pipeline.

Such facts, "make People get more distance from Politics. ...People had had enough, and they are fed up !".

- "That's why we (EuroParliament's "EuroLeft" Group) want to strengthen Direct Democracy in Europe. Citizens should be involved in the (EU) Decision-making. In the end of the day, it's not going to help anyone if Politicians are always taking decisions, without involving Citizens. We want to give a voice to the People of Europe. They've got to have their say in the decisions that are taken. That's one of our absolutely fixed and steadfast views. We want more Direct Democracy in Europe. That's how it can become more effective and stronger", he concluded.

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