The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) has called on Council member states to recognise Vladimir Putin as illegitimate after the end of his current presidential term and declared Russia a dictatorship.
This was reported on Friday by the PACE press service.
In the unanimously adopted resolution, PACE also called for the cessation of all contact with Putin, except humanitarian communications and in the pursuit of peace.
The Assembly emphasised that Vladimir Putin has been in power as president or prime minister since 2000. Amendments to the Russian Constitution in July 2020 extended his potential presidency until 2036, raising concerns about the lack of checks and balances.
PACE Committee has recognised that Russia has become a dictatorship.
The PACE committee emphasised this, coupled with the growing repression of domestic opponents and Russia’s actions in Ukraine, underscores the cost of unchecked presidential power.
“The overwhelming power of the President resulting from the extremely long term in office combined with the lack of any checks and balances such as a strong parliament, an independent judiciary, free media and a vibrant civil society has turned the Russian Federation into a de facto dictatorship,” the PACE parliamentarians said.
By adopting the resolution based on the report by Pieter Omtzigt, the Assembly recalled the conclusions of the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe that “the refusal to limit the term of office for the incumbent president violates both the Russian constitution and international legal principles.”
The Assembly pointed to Russia’s aggression against Ukraine and its consequences as proof that dictatorial regimes “pose a threat to international peace and security, the territorial integrity and political independence of their neighbours,” as defined in Article 2 of the UN Charter.
Thus, the PACE parliamentarians stated that restoring democracy in Russia is not only in the interests of the Russian people but also of Europe and the whole world.
Finally, the Assembly reaffirmed its support for the establishment of a special international criminal tribunal “to hold the Russian leadership, including Vladimir Putin, accountable for their actions, starting with the illegal annexation of Crimea, the war in Donbas and the downing of flight MH17.