OREANDA-NEWS. Deputy from United Russia and a member of the Russian delegation of PACE Maria Butina, speaking on Friday at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, accused European countries of Russophobia.

“Political verdicts against Russians are becoming the rule. I urge you to stop Russophobia, any persecution based on nationality in Europe. This is the road to nowhere,” Butina said at the PACE online conference.

She noted that she knows "dozens of examples" in different European countries when Russians were illegally judged. As an example, she named Konstantin Nikulin, who was sentenced to life by a Lithuanian court in the case of the Riga OMON, as well as Yuri Mel, who commanded a tank during the riots on January 13, 1991 in Vilnius.

“Let's be honest: these people were imprisoned not for a criminal offense, but for nationality and citizenship, as was the case in the 30s and 40s of the last century,” Butina added.

Earlier, the head of the Russian delegation to PACE, Vice Speaker of the State Duma Pyotr Tolstoy, could not be elected to the post of deputy chairman of this parliamentary body. Of the 185 delegates participating in the PACE leadership elections, 79 participants voted for Tolstoy's candidacy for the post of deputy chairman, and 106 voted against.