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Saturday, December 2, 2023

Russia denounced the Council of Europe Convention on the Protection of National Minorities. Vladimir Putin signed the bill

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President Vladimir Putin has signed a law on Russia’s denunciation of the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities, the Russian section of Radio Svoboda reported. The initiator of such a step was the Russian leader.

The convention aims to protect national minorities against discrimination, promotes the preservation of their culture, religion and traditions, and ensures their right to use their language freely. The agreement was prepared under the auspices of the Council of Europe in 1995 and entered into force years later. 38 states (including Russia) out of the 47 members of the Council of Europe are parties to it.

He was the initiator of the denunciation of the convention Vladimir Putin. The reason for such a step was – according to the Russian leader – a discriminatory approach towards Russia under the convention.


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Denunciation of the convention by the State Duma

The State Duma (the lower house of the Russian parliament) denounced the convention on October 10. In a justification, MPs pointed out that the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe adopted a resolution in September last year that significantly limited the powers of the Russian expert in the Advisory Committee, established to monitor the fulfillment of obligations regarding the protection of national minorities.

Moreover, in the context of Russia’s war with UkraineMoscow has lost the right to internationally monitor cases of violations of the rights of ethnic minorities, including the Russian-speaking population abroad.

March 16, 2022 Russia was expelled from the Council of Europe. The day before, the Parliamentary Assembly voted unanimously to remove her.

Denunciation of 21 treaties

Radio Svoboda recalled that in February 2023, the State Duma adopted a law on Russia’s denunciation of 21 treaties with the Council of Europe, including the Convention on human rights.

Among the national minorities living in Russia, the number of Poles is difficult to estimate. Official Russian data number 22,000, but it should be taken into account that many people do not admit their origin there due to harassment from the authorities or difficulties in finding a good job or obtaining a good education.

Unofficial estimates are divergent and range from several tens of thousands to even several hundred thousand Poles and people of Polish origin, most of whom are descendants of subsequent waves of deportations deep into Russia, resulting from Polish national uprisings.

The last large deportation was carried out in the 1940s, when the USSR authorities deported Poles living in the areas that belonged to the Republic of Poland before World War II deep into their empire. It is estimated that at least 200,000 people were exiled at that time.


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