(Strasbourg) “Peace is the greatest contribution we can make to the protection of human rights”. Finnish President Sauli Niinistö addressed the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe today. Niinstö expressed the hope that the Council would “remain the backbone of its Member States, preserving its strengths, such as the monitoring mechanism, the Court”, while also showing “dynamism”. Today, among others, the Assembly is due to address freedom of information, the fight against disinformation, and Internet governance. These points were also touched on by the Council’s Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland, who in his last speech to the Assembly made an assessment of his 10 years in office, expressing appreciation for the consolidation of the credibility and efficiency of the European Court of Human Rights and for the progress made in a number of areas (including migration, trafficking in human beings, and data protection). As for the case of Russia, which was deprived of its voting right in the Council for failing to pay its contributions, Jagland stressed that this measure “has not led to Crimea being returned to Ukraine, nor has it improved the situation of human rights in Russia”. Jagland urged the Assembly and the Committee of Ministers to start talks to find “a compromise solution to the Russia crisis, which would be a great gift for Europe”. “It is Russian people who would suffer most if Russia leaves the Council of Europe”.