STRASBOURG – The corresponding letter from Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov had been handed over to the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, the head of the Russian delegation, Pyotr Tolstoy, announced on Tuesday.

“Russia is voluntarily withdrawing from the Council of Europe, this is a balanced and well-considered decision,” said Tolstoy. The Council of Europe monitors compliance with human rights in its 47 member states and is not an EU body.

The head of the international committee of the Russian Duma, Slutsky, also made it clear that Russia’s withdrawal from the Council of Europe would also force it to denounce the European Convention on Human Rights.

“Russia will not participate in the transformation of Europe’s oldest organization by NATO and its obedient EU into another platform for Western dominance and narcissism,” the Russian Foreign Ministry added. The exit will not affect the rights and freedoms of Russian citizens because the Russian constitution guarantees them rights no less than the European Convention on Human Rights.

The provisions of the most important agreements of the Council of Europe have been transposed into Russian law. The implementation of judgments already handed down by the European Court of Human Rights will also be continued, provided they do not violate the Russian constitution.

In addition, Russia is a contracting party to the most important international human rights treaties concluded within the framework of the United Nations.