OSCE MPs condemn Russian 'assault' on Ukraine
The OSCE's parliamentary assembly on Wednesday passed a resolution condemning Russia's actions in Ukraine, further isolating Moscow in an organisation created to facilitate dialogue between eastern and western Europe.
"The OSCE Parliamentary Assembly condemns the Russian federation's unilateral and unjustified assault on Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity and the continuation of clear, gross and uncorrected violations of the principles of the Helsinki Final Act," the resolution said.
The parliamentary assembly of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) is meeting in Helsinki until Thursday to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Helsinki accords, which improved relations between eastern and western Europe.
However, the event has been overshadowed by the Russian delegation's absence after Finland barred six Russian members from attending since their names were on an EU blacklist over their role in the Ukraine crisis.
Some of the assembly's parliamentarians were concerned with adopting an anti-Russian resolution at a time when the Russian delegation was not there to defend the country's positions.
As a result, some countries, including France and Switzerland, decided to abstain from voting.
"Today we are in a situation where Russia's delegation is not here and that is why, we, the French delegation, have decided not to participate in the vote," the head of the French delegation, Michel Voisin, said at the session.
A total of 96 delegates voted in favour of the resolution while seven were against it and 32 abstained.
The European Union and the United States have slapped entry bans and economic sanctions on Russia over the seizure of the Crimean peninsula from Kiev and Moscow's alleged fuelling of a separatist conflict.
The EU last month agreed to extend sanctions over the Ukraine crisis until January 2016, prompting Moscow to extend its own tit-for-tat embargo on Western agricultural food products for another year.
© 2015 AFP