Only one Russian parliamentarian voted in favour of the report, while most members of the delegation of 18 deputies failed to attend the vote. The Russian representatives tried unsuccessfully, through a number of amendments, to remove from the document the sentences explicitly condemning Assad for the goings-on in Syria.
In the report, the parliamentary assembly firmly condemns the "widespread, repeated and grave violations of human rights, considered crimes against humanity, committed by security forces, but also violations by groups who oppose the regime".
Repeating that external military intervention needed to be ruled out - "just remember Srebrenica", Marcenaro said in his speech - the assembly fully supports Kofi Annan's plan and asks all member states of the European Council to do all they can to ensure its success.
During the debate, a number of parliamentarians asked for Moscow to put pressure on Assad to respect the plan. The assembly demands that the Syrian authorities and the international community ensure that observers have freedom of movement throughout the country as well as the necessary capabilities with which to monitor the full respect of the ceasefire and the right to demonstrate peacefully.
As a result, the assembly has also asked the United Nations Security Council to "implement immediately an embargo on the imports into Syria of weapons and support material".
The Russians are said to have wanted to remove this item, as well as the point in the text in which it is stated that only the fall of the regime would guarantee a peaceful and democratic future in Syria.
The assembly also underlined that this future depends on opposition forces and their ability to involve all citizens regardless of ethnic origin or religion. An amendment explicitly demanding that the Christian community be guaranteed in future the same religious tolerance that it has enjoyed until now passed by 54 votes to 50.
Finally, the document also focusses on the issue of refugees.
On the one hand, the assembly applauds the efforts made so far by Turkey, though it does ask Ankara to move refugee camps further away from the Syrian border in order to ensure their safety. On the other, meanwhile, all 47 member states of the Council of Europe are asked to guarantee sufficient protection for all Syrian asylum seekers, given that the flow of people fleeing the country continues to be significant and could increase if the situation worsens or stays the same. (ANSAmed).