Secretary General of the Council of Europe Marija Pejcinovic Buric and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will meet today in
Secretary General of the Council of Europe Marija Pejcinovic Buric and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will meet today in Moscow. They are expected to discuss a resolution to the current conflict in Ukraine among other humanitarian issues.
The Council of Europe, an intergovernmental human rights advocacy organisation, has long had a strained relationship with Russia. Though Russia became a member state in 1996, the Russian delegation’s voting rights in the Council’s parliamentary assembly were terminated in 2014 following Crimea’s annexation, and were restored only in 2019.
Expect discussion of the Minsk Agreements—which outline a settlement to conflicts between Ukraine and Russia—during the visit. Lavrov is likely to insist Ukraine implement specific provisions of Minsk-2 that would decentralise Ukraine’s control over its regions, giving areas such as the Donbass greater autonomy. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has so far resisted this proposal. Buric, too, is almost certain to disregard such pressure, maintaining that both Ukraine and Russia must fully implement the agreements, and to urge progress towards a permanent settlement. He may, however, use the possibility of targeted implementation to incentivise Moscow to address the dispute, as the current ceasefire is unstable and unlikely to endure.