Moscow accuses the Council of Europe of "anti-Russian" in the service of the West

 Russia on Friday accused the Council of Europe, which formally excluded it on Wednesday, of being an "anti-Russian" tool in the service of the West, stressing that it rejects the "lessons of Brussels" in the field of human rights.

"Due to the anti-Russian activity of Westerners, this entity is losing its raison d'etre," Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in a statement.

"By giving priority to the interests of the Union over the goals for which it was founded, the Council of Europe has turned into a malleable tool for the European Union, NATO and their dependencies," she added.

On Wednesday, Russia was officially expelled from the Council of Europe, of which it has been a member since 1996. The Council had suspended Moscow's participation in its main bodies since February 25, the day after the start of the offensive in Ukraine.

Zakharova considered that the expulsion “does not change anything fundamental for us. It only excuses us from respecting the remaining measures and obligations imposed on us.”

And she added, "Russia does not accept the lessons of Brussels in the field of human rights."

The Council of Europe was established in 1949, joined by Russia in 1996, and Ukraine in 1995.

Russia's exit from the Council of Europe raises fears of a deteriorating human rights situation in this country, which is under constant criticism from international organizations.

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