RUSSIA NO LONGER CARES WHAT THE COUNCIL OF EUROPE THINKS ABOUT CHECHNYA

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RUSSIA NO LONGER CARES WHAT THE COUNCIL OF EUROPE THINKS ABOUT CHECHNYA

Izvestia, July 9, 2003, p. 3 EV

Andreas Gross, Lord Frank Judd’s replacement as rapporteur on Chechnya for the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), arrives in Russia today for a two-day visit. Prospects for improved relations between Russia and the PACE largely depend on his activities. However, Russian members of parliament intend to minimize cooperation with their European counterparts on regulation in Chechnya.

Andreas Gross intends to meet with representatives of Russian authorities, heads of law enforcement agencies, and members of parliament. After Moscow, he will go to Kazan to attend a conference on autonomy. His conference report will discuss “the successful experience of co-existence for ethnic minorities in an autonomy and experience of overcoming conflicts.” However, as we have learned, there are no special preparations for Gross’s arrival in Moscow. This time he will not go to Chechnya. Moscow authorities will wait to see what his first moves are before deciding whether to give him a tour of Chechnya.

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