COPENHAGEN, 10 December 1999 -- The
President of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly Mrs. Helle Degn appealed to
the Russian leadership to take immediate steps to protect the civilian
population in Chechnya and to observe international humanitarian standards.
Mrs. Degn called on the Russian authorities to reconsider its ultimatum to the citizens of Grozny, due to expire on Saturday, 11 December, giving them no other choice than to leave the city or risk injury or death.
The President recalled that at the OSCE Summit in Istanbul in November, Russia accepted that a political solution to the conflict is essential and welcomed the willingness of the OSCE to assist in the renewal of a political dialogue. She called upon the Russian authorities to fulfil their commitments and expressed her hope that the visit to the region by OSCE Chairman-in-Office, Norwegian Foreign Minister Knut Vollebæk, will pave the way for a political solution to the conflict in Chechnya and avert further human suffering.
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