Chechnya: Council of Europe talks with Russian authorities

STRASBOURG, 13.01.2000 - David ANDREWS, Irish Foreign Minister and Chairman of the Committee of Ministers of the COUNCIL OF EUROPE and a parliamentary delegation, led by Parliamentary Assembly President Lord RUSSELL-JOHNSTON will have talks on Chechnya with the Russian authorities in Moscow from 14 to 20 January 2000. The Parliamentarians' programme includes a fact-finding mission to the North Caucasus on 18 and 19 January.
David Andrews will meet with his Russian counterpart Igor IVANOV on Friday 14 January in Moscow, at Minister Ivanov's invitation. The Minister will raise the future contribution of the Council of Europe towards restoration of the rule of law, respect for human rights and democracy in Chechyna.

The Parliamentary Assembly delegation will visit the Russian Federation from 16 to 20 January 2000. The objective of the visit is to explain the position of the Assembly on the conflict in Chechnya in the light of Russia's obligations as a member of the Organisation and to discuss with the Russian authorities the prospects for a political solution.

On 17 January, the Parliamentary delegation, led by its President Lord RUSSELL-JOHNSTON should meet with the acting President Vladimir PUTIN, Duma Speaker Gennady SELEZNYEV, Foreign Minister Igor IVANOV, Minister for Emergencies Serguei SHOIGU, the Speaker of the Federation Council Egor STROEV and Duma representatives. It will also meet with representatives of the OSCE, the International Committee of the Red Cross and NGOs upon its arrival in the Russian capital on Sunday 16 January.

On Tuesday 18 January and Wednesday 19 January, the delegation will visit the North Caucasus for meetings with the President of Ingushetia Ruslan AUSHEV, the Chairman of the Republic of Dagestan, Magomadali MAGOMADOV and North Ossetian President Alexander DZASOKHOV on their role in the efforts to bring a political solution to the conflict in Chechnya. A fact finding visit to the areas under Russian control in Chechnya and the check point on the Chechen border near Mozdok is also planned.

Delegation members are:

Cevdet AKCALI (Turkey, EDG)
Rudolf BINDIG (Germany, SOC)
Andreas GROSS (Switzerland, SOC)
Tadeusz IWINSKI (Poland, SOC)
Lord JUDD (United Kingdom, SOC)
Jaakko LAAKSO (Finland, UEL)
Kristiina OJULAND (Estonia, LDR)
Renate WOHLWEND (Liechtenstein, EPP/CD)
Bruno HALLER, Secretary General of the Assembly
They will be accompanied by members of the Russian delegation to the Assembly:

Nickolay FYDOROV (Russia, LDR)
Mikhail PRUSAK (Russia, EDG)