TALLINN – The head of the Estonian delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), Eerik-Niiles Kross, and member Indrek Saar are taking part in the PACE winter session in Strasbourg, which is discussing Russia's aggression against Ukraine.
"The Estonian delegation hopes for a pithy discussion on the war in Ukraine and on investigating Russia's war crimes. PACE will adopt an interim resolution on these topics on Thursday, based on the report that will be drafted during the week. We are also planning to contribute to the report in cooperation with the Ukrainian delegation," Kross said according to spokespeople for the Riigikogu in Tallinn.
Kross initiated a draft at the last session of the assembly together with a couple of dozen delegates from 10 countries on imposing sanctions against the authorities who imprisoned and repressed Russian opposition leader Vladimir Kara-Murza. A rapporteur will be elected for the draft at the PACE meeting.
"I intend to apply," Kross said.
The assembly will discuss the legal and human rights aspects of the Russian Federation's aggression against Ukraine on Thursday. Oleksandra Matvichuk, the head of the Center for Civil Liberties which won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2022, will speak during the discussion.
Proposals of the PACE will also be submitted to the report of the 4th Council of Europe Summit of Heads of State and Government -- #RoadToReykjavik. Iceland's Prime Minister Katrin Jakobsdottir will speak on behalf of the presidency. The minister of foreign affairs of Germany, Annalena Baerbock, will also speak.
On Monday, the assembly was set to discuss attacks against employees of civil service, tensions between Pristina and Belgrade, and the issue of Daesh foreign fighters and their families returning to Council of Europe member states.
The topics for Tuesday are conflict-related sexual violence and the impending Reykjavik summit of the Council of Europe.
Wednesday's schedule includes the impact of armed conflicts on the environment, issues raised by the use of tracking apps, progress and challenges in implementing the Istanbul Convention, and solutions to preventing gender-based violence and forced marriage.
New rapporteurs will also be elected to monitor Hungary.
"Together with the former prime minister of Greece Georg Papandreu, we are applying for this task again," Kross said.