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Leonid Bershidsky

Europe Should Lift Russia Sanctions, But for the Right Reasons

The Council of Europe’s parliamentary assembly shouldn’t have allowed financial concerns to drive its decision to reinstate Russia’s voting rights.

Is Russia buying its way back up the flagpole?

Is Russia buying its way back up the flagpole?


A precedent now exists for lifting sanctions imposed on Russia for its 2014 annexation of Crimea. On Tuesday, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, or PACE, allowed the Russian delegation to return with full voting rights, which it lost in the aftermath of the annexation.

One could argue about the sensibility of the original decision to take those rights away, but the reversal clearly happened for the wrong reasons. This doesn’t set a good example for other bodies and countries that have sanctioned Russia.