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Russia withdraws from Convention for Protection of National Minorities

by Martin Fornusek October 19, 2023 6:05 PM 2 min read
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Sept. 14, 2023. (Mikhail Metzel/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
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Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law on Russia's withdrawal from the Council of Europe's Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities, according to information on a Russian government website published on Oct. 19.

The bill was introduced by Putin by the end of September. The State Duma, the lower house of the Russian parliament, approved it on Oct. 10, and the upper house passed it a day later.

Moscow justified this move in an accompanying note by saying that in September 2022, the Council of Europe "significantly limited the powers of a Russian expert" in the Convention's Advisory Committee.

Russia claims it lost the opportunity to monitor and address cases of alleged rights violations of national minorities abroad, "primarily of the Russian-speaking population."

The Kremlin used false accusations of abuse and discrimination against Russian-speaking citizens of Ukraine to start armed aggression against its neighbor in 2014.

The Convention, ratified by about 40 countries, aims to promote the rights of national minorities among the member states, combat discrimination, and promote and protect individual ethnic groups and cultures. Russia ratified the treaty in 1998.

Following Moscow's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Russia was expelled from the Council of Europe in March 2022.

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