Thursday

22nd Feb 2024

Letter

Tiny Kox to EUobserver: 'Not slightest evidence' for allegations

  • Tiny Kox, the Dutch president of PACE (Photo: coe.int)
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Regarding your article in yesterday's EUobserver titled Europe's democratic guardian Tiny Kox denies Russia spy links, which was published without me being given the chance to comment in an efficient and proper manner, I wish to express the following observations.

The claims made in the article and, particularly in a report by the Dossier Center to which it refers to are false, unfounded and defamatory. Elements presented in this report do not present the slightest evidence for the far-reaching allegations it makes.

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Meeting and discussing with other members of parliaments is a duty and a responsibility for any member of parliament and is routine in the international parliamentary sphere.

In particular, as leader of a political group and rapporteur for many reports, including two reports on election observation in the Russian Federation in 2011 and 2012 and a report on the role and mission of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) I met with many MPs, including Russian ones.

On 14 December 2017, for instance, the then president, political group leaders and the PACE secretary general (Presidential Committee) met with a delegation of the Russian parliament at the Council of Europe (CoE) office in Paris, upon the invitation of the President of the Assembly and agreement by all group leaders. 

I participated in this meeting, together with all other members of the Presidential Committee, as I participated in (almost all) Presidential Committee meetings since 2007.

I have also been advocating for an in-depth inquiry into allegations of corruption in PACE for a long time.

For example, on 27 June 2017 I voted, along with 153 other PACE members, in favour of Resolution 2169, which instituted a procedure to make it possible "to dismiss [holders of elective offices within the assembly] during their term of office".

Some 30 members voted against and 15 abstained. On 6 October 2017, once this procedure had come into effect, Pedro Agramunt resigned as PACE president.

In April 2021, I also presented to the assembly a report on its vision on the strategic priorities for the CoE, which covered a wide range of issues related to this organisation. Some 112 PACE members voted in favour of the resolution, one voted against and 25 abstained. 

It included a proposal to improve possibilities for PACE and its Committee of Ministers to better react to blatant violations by a member state of its obligations. 

As regards Valery Levitsky, he was, for many years, the secretary of the Russian parliamentary delegation to PACE.

In this capacity he often accompanied Russian parliamentarians during meetings and performed other secretariat tasks. He was not considered as a counterpart for me or my colleagues.

PACE, which I currently have the honour of chairing, has played a key role in ensuring the speedy expulsion when unanimously voted in favour of terminating the membership of Russia in the organisation on 17 March 2022.

Since then, it continues to support Ukraine and works actively on ensuring the accountability of the Russian Federation for the crimes committed in the course of this war of aggression.

Disclaimer

The views expressed in this opinion piece are the author's, not those of EUobserver.

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