Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov March 9 received a delegation of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe led by Lord Judd (Socialist Group, Britain) which has arrived in Russia in order to prepare a report on the situation in the Chechen Republic which will be submitted to the PACE session in April. The delegation included Lara Margret Ragnarsdottir (European Democratic Group, Iceland), Hanne Severinsen (Liberal, Democratic and Reformers' Group, Denmark), Rudolf Bindig (Socialist Group, Germany), Gyorgy Frunda (Group of the European People's Party, Romania), Anneli Jaatteenmaki (Liberal, Democratic and Reformers' Group, Finland), Doros Christodoulides (Group of the United European Left, Cyprus), John Connor (Group of the European People's Party, Ireland), Tadeusz Iwinski (Socialist Group, Poland), Reginald Moreels (Group of the European People's Party, Belgium), and Juris Sinka (European Democratic Group, Latvia).
In the course of the conversation, Ivanov informed the PACE delegation about the steps being taken by the Russian leadership to restore normal life in Chechnya and rebuild the structures of a rule-of-law democratic state there. He stressed the significance Russia attaches to interaction with international organizations for the purpose of democratic rehabilitation of the Chechen Republic. In this connection, he confirmed, among other things, that Russia agrees to the assignment of Council of Europe experts to the Bureau of the Russian President's special representative for human rights and freedoms in the Chechen Republic, Vladimir Kalamanov.
Ivanov answered the questions from the parliamentarians.
For their part, the European parliamentarians expressed satisfaction with cooperation between the Council of Europe and Russia in restoring law and order and ensuring respect for human rights and democracy in Chechnya. The holding of two regional seminars under the CE auspices this spring will effectively contribute to the implementation of agreements with the CE. One seminar, devoted to the development of federative relations in a democratic state, will be held in Pyatigorsk in April, the other one, on the role of democratic institutes in the establishment of a rule-of-law state, will take place in Makhachkala in May.
March 9, 2000