Russia

Council of Europe Parliamentary delegation on fact-finding mission to Moscow and North Caucasus

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STRASBOURG, 07.03.2000 - A COUNCIL OF EUROPE Parliamentary Assembly delegation will have talks with the Russian authorities on Chechnya in Moscow on 9 and 10 March. A fact-finding mission to the North Caucasus is scheduled on 11 and 12 March.
On 9 March, meetings are organised with the Chairmen of the State Duma and the Council of Federation, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, representatives of the Ministries of the Interior, of Defence and for Federal Affairs and Nationalities.

On 10 March, the delegation will meet with representatives of the Administration of the President, of the Ministry for Emergency Situations and of the Duma as well as with the President's Special Representative on Human Rights and Freedoms in the Chechen Republic. Discussions with representatives of international organisations and NGOs are also on the agenda.

Details of the North-Caucasus visit are not yet available.

The objective of this fact-finding mission is to monitor follow-up given by the Russian authorities to a number of requirements made by the Parliamentary Assembly session on 27 January last such as: immediate cease-fire, halt of disproportionate military action and attacks against civilians, political dialogue, free departure of those wishing to leave Chechnya, no forced repatriations, respect of human rights, delivery of humanitarian assistance, free access of the media, dialogue in the North Caucasus and discussion with competent international organisations.

The findings of this visit will be presented in a report at the next session (Strasbourg, 3-7 April) of the Parliamentary Assembly, which will then have to decide whether its requirements have been met, or whether it will have to review Russian continued membership of and participation in the Assembly's work and in the Council of Europe in general.

The delegation is composed of:

Lord JUDD, rapporteur (United Kingdom, SOC), Political Affairs Committee, delegation leader
Lára Margrét RAGNASDOTTIR (Iceland, EDG), Political Affairs
Hanne SEVERINSEN (Denmark, LDR), Political Affairs
Rudolf BINDIG, rapporteur (Germany, SOC), Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights and "Monitoring" Committee
Anneli J=C4=C4TTEENM=C4KI (Finland, LDR), Legal Affairs and Human Rights
Doros CHRISTODOULIDES(Cyprus, UEL), Committee on Migration, Refugees and Demography
Tadeusz IWINSKI, rapporteur (Poland, SOC), Migration, Refugees and Demography
Reginald MOREELS (Belgium, EPP/CD), "Monitoring" Committee
Juris SINKA (Latvia, EDG), "Monitoring"

They will be accompanied by Dimitri ROGOZINE, Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Duma.

Press:

Press meetings will be announced on the spot.

Contacts:

Micaela B=D6RNER (Hotel National, Moscow: +7 095/258 7000; Fax: + 7 095/258 7100
or mobile: +33/ 6 08 56 40 65)

or Jean-Pierre GUGLIELMI (Parliamentary Assembly, Strasbourg: Tel : +33/(0) 3 88 41 25 96 - Fax : +33/(0)3 90 21 41 34 - Email : pace@coe.int).