MOSCOW - If Russia withdraws from the Council of Europe, this organization will cease to exist, State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin said.
"If Russia leaves the Council of Europe, there will be no longer such body. Because there is the European Union, there is the Council of Europe. You see, the Council of Europe is definitely linked to Russia's presence in it. If there is no Russia in it, there will be no PACE [the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe], there will be no Council of Europe," Volodin said in an interview with the Rossiya-24 TV channel on Friday.
In this situation "the EU and the European Parliament will remain," the State Duma speaker said. "These bodies have a priority in terms of their powers, they are elected directly," Volodin said.