MOSCOW, October 12 (RAPSI) – The Venice Commission, an advisory body of the Council of Europe, composed of independent experts in the field of constitutional law, has reminded several countries including Russia of the importance of executing judgments delivered by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).

This is “an unequivocal and imperative legal obligation, whose respect is vital for preserving and fostering the community of principles and values of the European continent,” the Commission says in its opinion requested by PACE.

In December 2015, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law granting the country’s Constitutional Court a right to decide whether to execute judgments of the ECHR and other international courts or not.

Last week, Valentina Matviyenko, Chairperson of the Federation Council, the upper house of parliament, said that Moscow would not acknowledge the ECHR rulings as legitimate until Russian delegates resume their work in the Parliamentary Assembly of Council of Europe (PACE). Russia was deprived of voting rights in PACE in 2014.