Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal pleaded “Ukraine is on fire” as he asked for Russia to be ousted from the Council of Europe on Monday, in a speech to the chamber.
Shmyhal was standing in for President Volodymyr Zelensky who was scheduled to give the address earlier on Monday.
"For the past 18 days the world finally opened its eyes," Shmyhal said, referring to Russian actions in Ukraine.
Following an applause for Shmyhal, Tiny Kox, president of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, said the meeting will now examine whether “for the first time in modern history” a member state could be excluded.
Kox said the consequences of the Russian army’s invasion would be debated in the coming hours and Tuesday.
More background: The Russian Federation became the 39th member State of the Council of Europe on 28 February 1996, according to the Council of Europe website.
“On 25 February 2022, the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe decided to suspend the Russian Federation from its rights of representation in the Committee of Ministers and in the Parliamentary Assembly, in accordance with Article 8 of the Statute of the Council of Europe,” the website adds.
However, Russian senator Alexander Bashkin told state news agency RIA Novosti on Monday the Russian Electoral Commission has suspended its work in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) and will not take part in meetings. The head of the Russian delegation to PACE, Pyotr Tolstoy, suggested Russia may withdraw from the organization, according to RIA.