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PACE to vote on Georgia's motion to strip Russia of voting rights

RIA Novosti

06:44 01/10/2009 STRASBOURG, October 1 (RIA Novosti) - The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe will decide on Thursday on Georgia's motion to deprive Russia of voting rights over the last year's conflict in South Ossetia.

Georgia had proposed depriving Russia of its voting rights over its recognition of breakaway Abkhazia and South Ossetia after a brief war between the ex-Soviet states last August. Of the 642 PACE members, 72 signed the motion.

A PACE monitoring commission official is expected to deliver a report on Georgia's proposal at 08:00 GMT Thursday, with discussions and voting to follow. The motion would require the backing of a simple majority of those present to pass.

On Tuesday it was reported that a PACE monitoring commission recommended the assembly to support the Russian delegation's rights.

The head of the Russian delegation, Konstantin Kosachev, said the outcome of the vote was "unpredictable." The Russian delegation will not attend the discussions.

PACE adopted a resolution last fall calling on Russia to retract its recognition of the regions, but Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has called the decision irreversible.

An independent report commissioned by the EU and published on Wednesday concluded that the August 2008 war between Russia and Georgia was started by Tbilisi's unjustified military attack on South Ossetia.

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