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Ukraine: Council May Exclude Delegation Over Executions

Strasbourg, 26 January 1998 (RFE/RL) -- The Council of Europe's Parliamentary Assembly is considering whether to exclude Ukraine from its current week-long winter session until Kyiv imposes an official moratorium on the execution of criminals. The assembly is expected to vote tomorrow on a recommendation that the credentials of the Ukrainian parliamentary delegation not be recognized until Ukraine provides documentary proof that a moratorium has been established and implemented.

The recommendation comes from the Parliamentary Assembly's Legal Affairs Committee.

A Council spokesman made clear today that any action would apply only to the activities of the Parliamentary Assembly. It would not mean Ukraine was excluded from the Council of Europe as a whole.

The report by the Legal Affairs Committee recalls that when Ukraine joined the Council of Europe in 1995 it committed itself to a moratorium on executions. The report says Ukraine has been warned twice since then to honor its commitments, but continued to execute criminals until at least last year. According to the report, at least 13 executions took place last year.