Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini address a joint news conference after their meeting in Brussels, Belgium, July 11, 2017. (Reuters Photo)
MOSCOW, July 14 (Xinhua) -- Russia is open for constructive cooperation with the Council of Europe despite its decision to suspend payment to the organization, the State Duma's International Affairs Committee chairman said Thursday.
The lawmaker said the Council of Europe remains an important area of cooperation and is the broadest platform in Europe.
"We will continue our work as a member of the Council of Europe and fulfill our obligations despite the absolutely reasonable decision to suspend budget payments until the rights of our delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) have been restored," Leonid Slutsky said.
Slutsky made such remarks during a visit to Moscow by Gabriella Battaini-Dragoni, the Deputy Secretary General of the Council of Europe.
On June 30, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov informed the Council of Europe that Moscow decided to suspend the country's 2017 contribution to the organization's budget.
In April 2014, PACE approved resolutions depriving the Russian delegation of the right to vote over the annexation of Crimea. Following the resolutions, Russia decided to leave PACE in late 2015, repeatedly stressing that it will only return to the organization after full restoration of its delegates' voting rights.