STRASBOURG, 13.01.2000 - COUNCIL
OF EUROPE Secretary General Walter SCHWIMMER today thanked the Russian
authorities for having given a substantial reply within the time limit
to his request made on 15 December 1999 under Article 52 of the European
Convention on human rights, asking for explanations on the manner in which
the Convention is currently being implemented in Chechnya.
Mr Schwimmer welcomed the cooperative attitude of the Russian authorities and the recognition, clearly expressed by Russian Foreign Minister Igor IVANOV, that the situation in the Chechen Republic of the Russian Federation "is a matter of concern for the Council of Europe by virtue of its competence".
The Secretary General added that the reply was going to be analysed now by the competent services of the Council of Europe and will be subject of discussion between the Russian authorities and Irish Foreign Minister David ANDREWS, Committee of Ministers Chairman-in-Office, during his visit to Moscow tomorrow. The reply will also be discussed with the Russian authorities by Parliamentary Assembly President Lord RUSSELL-JOHNSTON, who will be visiting Moscow and the North Caucasus region with a parliamentary delegation next week.
"The Russian reply is an important step in the process of dialogue with the Russian authorities as regards their obligations and commitments vis-à-vis the Council of Europe and the search for a political solution to the conflict," Mr Schwimmer stressed.
Dmitri Marchenkov, Council of Europe Press Service
Tel. +33 3 88 41 38 44 - Fax. +33 3 88 41 27 89