The Russian Federation will suspend its participation in the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Parliamentary Assembly, Vyacheslav Volodin, chairman of the Russian parliament, announced on Feb. 13.
Volodin reportedly called the assembly “an absolutely dependent politicized organization that dances to Washington’s tune.” The State Duma and Federation Council will consider suspending Russia's participation in the Assembly on Feb. 21.
"The worst thing in this situation is that we are still paying money, and we are one of the largest players, so we need to go out and stop transferring funds," he added.
The OSCE PA is an interparliamentary body consisting of 57 member states. The Assembly was created in 1991 to facilitate OSCE goals, including conflict prevention and resolution as well as the consolidation of democratic institutions across OSCE member countries.
Since 1993, the Assembly has monitored elections in more than 30 nations across Europe, Africa, North America, and Asia.
Last summer, the OSCE PA formally recognized Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism for its involvement with the Wagner Group. Around this time last year, the OSCE Secretary General told German journalists that Russia should remain in the organization to maintain diplomatic channels.
Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba later boycotted OSCE meetings due to Russia's continued presence in the organization.
Kuleba's spokesperson said that Russia was abusing the OSCE's rule of consensus and resorting to blackmail and open threats to block key issues, such as Estonia's candidacy for the 2024 chairmanship.
Russia has been expelled from several international rights organizations over the last two years, including the United Nations Human Rights Council.