Russian President Vladimir Putin submitted to the State Duma a bill to denounce the Council of Europe Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities. The document, as it became known on Friday, was posted in the electronic database of the lower house of the Russian parliament.
The explanatory note to the document emphasizes that withdrawal from the convention will avoid discriminatory attitudes towards Russia and will not harm the observance of the rights of national minorities. The note notes that in September 2022, by a decision of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, the powers of the Russian expert in the committee, which was created to monitor the implementation of participating countries of their obligations under the convention, were significantly limited. Moscow also lost the opportunity to participate in the development of decisions and monitor cases of violation of the rights of national minorities, primarily the Russian-speaking population abroad, the document says.
The editors of Idel.Realii earlier in September asked a lawyer from Kalmykia, Daavr Dorzhin, to comment on the possible denunciation by Moscow of the Council of Europe Convention on the Protection of National Minorities. In particular, he said that withdrawing from the convention itself is unlikely to change anything. “It only confirms the emerging trend towards a decrease in the international legal protection of Russians, including non-Russians,” Dorzhin noted.
Russia signed the convention in 1995. The document provides, among other things, a ban on any discrimination against national minorities, their assimilation against their will, and the right to freely use their native language, RBC writes.
Last March, Russia was expelled from the Council of Europe over its military invasion of Ukraine. After this, Russia denounced a number of Council of Europe conventions, including those on human rights.