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  Monday, November 11, 2019
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The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe started discussions
The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe started discussions on Thursday on whether to refuse Russia the right to vote at the January session unless it annuls its recognition of Georgia's rebel regions.

PACE resumed on Thursday discussions on the consequences of the mid-August war between Russia and Georgia over South Ossetia. Russia recognized the republic, along with Abkhazia, as independent states after the conflict.

A draft PACE resolution has been drawn up, and is set to be adopted after several amendments have been proposed. The vote will be held later on Thursday.

One amendment, submitted by Cypriot parliamentarian Christos Pourgourides, proposes that the assembly "deprive the Russian and Georgian delegations of their right to vote at the January session if the countries do not implement recommendations put to them."

Georgia would have to pull its troops back to pre-conflict positions, and Russia would have to annul its recognition of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

On Wednesday, PACE rejected a motion calling for Russia's role in the organization to be reduced over the conflict with Georgia. A total of 114 PACE lawmakers voted in support of Russia, with 20 votes against and 10 abstentions.

Russia launched its five-day military operation to "force Georgia to accept peace" after Georgian troops attacked breakaway South Ossetia on August 8, killing a number of Russian peacekeepers and hundreds of civilians.

Russia's response to the Georgian attack was condemned as disproportionate by a number of Western powers. Russia recognized South Ossetia and Abkhazia as independent states on August 26.

Abkhazia and South Ossetia broke away from Georgia following the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s amid armed conflicts that claimed thousands of lives.


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