A CRIME INVESTIGATION COMMISSION MAY BE ESTABLISHED IN CHECHNYA

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A CRIME INVESTIGATION COMMISSION MAY BE ESTABLISHED IN CHECHNYA

Izvestia, May 28, 2003, p. 3 EV

Abdul-Khakim Sultygov, presidential envoy for human rights in Chechnya, has spoken out in favor of founding a national commission for investigation of crimes committed in Chechnya after the presidential elections are over. In his opinion, the gangs operating in Chechnya are responsible for the majority of crimes committed against civilians, rather than security structures. He stated that hundreds of complaints about crimes committed by officers of federal security structures are received, but not a single complaint about crimes committed by the gangs. Sultygoc attributes it to the fact that Chechnya’s population is severely intimidated. In his turn, Chechen Prosecutor Vladimir Kravchenko sees no necessity for forming a national crime investigation commission. In his words, the law enforcement system, which includes the interior ministry, Chechnya’s FSB department, the prosecutor’s office, penitentiary institutions, and the courts have all been operating successfully in Chechnya.

RUSSIA AND GEORGIA PREPARING A "MAJOR TREATY"

Izvestia, May 28, 2003, p. 3 EV

Georgia’s Foreign Minister Kakha Sikharulidze has announced that a group of Russian experts headed by Lev Mironov, the Foreign Ministry’s special envoy, arrived in Tbilisi on Tuesday to resume negotiations on preparing a framework treaty between Russia and Georgia, interrupted earlier. According to Sikharulidze, Tbilisi welcomes resumption of the talks on this topic since the “framework treaty can resolve many of the problems existing in relations between our states.” Sikharulidze noted that the draft treaty is almost ready; only a few military-political points remain to be settled, but finding mutually acceptable wording on all points is possible.

THE SHANGHAI SIX WON’T BE EXPANDED

Izvestia, May 28, 2003, p. 3 EV

Alexander Ivanov, head of the Asian Issues Department at the Foreign Ministry, has announced that based on results of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit meeting on May 29 in Moscow, it is planned to adopt a political declaration which will set out the coordinated positions of the SCO member states on urgent international problems. Ivanov also stated that besides the set of documents related to organizational principles of forming the SCO, approval of the organization’s official symbols – the emblem and the flag – is expected to take place at the summit. No question of accepting new members into the organization has been raised so far. Ivanov said that the SCO would begin working at its full capacity as a full-fledged international organization by the end of next year.

SHEVARDNADZE OFFENDED

Nezavisimaya Gazeta, May 28, 2003, EV

The presence of a delegation from the unrecognized Republic of Abkhazia at the tercentenary celebrations in St. Petersburg may deter Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze from attending. At least, President Shevardnadze hasn’t yet made a final decision on his trip to St. Petersburg, where not only an ordinary CIS summit, but also a Russian-Georgian meeting is scheduled, Shevardnadze’s press secretary Kakha Imnadze said on Tuesday.

Reports that a delegation from Sukhumi will come to St. Petersburg led to doubts about Shevardnadze’s attendance. According to Russian media agencies, Abkhazian Deputy Prime Minister Valery Arshba, Foreign Minister Sergei Shamba and some other Abkhazian dignitaries have already arrived in St. Petersburg. In the opinion of Georgia, the Abkhazian delegation had received an invitation to attend the celebrations on equal terms with heads of Russian regions, which greatly annoyed Tbilisi. However, the Russian Foreign Ministry said that nobody had sent an official invitation to Sukhumi, and therefore there are no reasons for any political demarches. However, Tbilisi intends to verify this information.

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