In a historic move, the Council of Europe exiled Russia from the continent’s premier human rights body over Russian military operations in Ukraine.
According to a statement issued by the 47-nation Council of Europe’s committee of ministers, “the Russian Federation will no longer be a member of the Council of Europe as of today.”
Russia has already been expelled from the group by its parliamentary assembly, which unanimously voted that it would be expelled in the first week of the group’s existence.
During an interview with Russian broadcaster RBK on Wednesday, Lavrov said NATO and European Union countries have abused their majority in the council in order to turn it into an anti-Russian instrument.
Ukraine’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Dmytro Kuleba welcomed the decision, tweeting that “Russia has no place within European bodies as it wages barbaric and diabolical wars of aggression against Ukraine committing crimes against humanity.”
Due to the Committee of Ministers’ agreement behind closed doors, it was impossible to know whether the expulsion was supported by wide margins.