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Statement on the rejection of Russias designation of Olga Kovitidi as a Member of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly

VIENNA, 18 February 2015 The Bureau of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly today unanimously rejected the Russian Federations designation of Olga Kovitidi as a Member of the OSCE PA. Ms. Kovitidi was identified by the Russian Federation as a Member of the Federation Council representing the so-called government of Crimea. The Bureau made its decision following an official challenge by the Ukrainian Delegation to the OSCE PA regarding the designation.

The Bureau is composed of the elected President, Vice-Presidents, Treasurer and Officers of the Assembly’s three General Committees. The Bureau considered the recommendation of a Credentials Committee, whose members were appointed by OSCE Parliamentary Assembly President Ilkka Kanerva for this purpose. Members of both the Bureau and of the Credentials Committee heard statements by Members of the Russian and Ukrainian Delegations to the OSCE PA before considering the matter. The Credentials Committee recommended that the Bureau reject the Russian Federation’s designation of Ms. Kovitidi, citing Rule 1.1 and Rule 3 of the Rules of Procedure on the composition and membership of the Assembly.

Within its recommendation, the Credentials Committee stated: “…a Member of Parliament nominated as a PA member has to represent the country that makes the notification – and not some authority of that country which has been set up on foreign territory in a manner considered illegal by the overwhelming majority of the OSCE participating States.”

The full Report and Recommendation is available here.

The OSCE PA by default accepts designations of persons as Members of National Delegations on the basis of official communications supplied by the National Parliaments, unless the credentials of the proposed Member are challenged.

The OSCE PA International Secretariat received official notification from the Russian Delegation to the OSCE PA of its designation of Ms. Kovitidi through notes verbales dated 19 and 28 January 2015. The Secretariat received official challenges from the Ukrainian Delegation to the OSCE PA on 6 and 12 February 2015.