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Chechnya: OSCE Official To Discuss Rights Abuses With Moscow

Moscow, 13 April 2000 (RFE/RL) - The head of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) is in Moscow today for talks with top Russian officials expected to focus on Chechnya. Benita Ferrero-Waldner, Austria's foreign minister, is set to meet with Russian President-elect Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov. She also will have talks with Vladimir Kalamanov, Russia's special representative for human rights in Chechnya. Ferrero-Waldner's spokesman, Johannes Peterlik, said her meetings will include discussions of allegations of human rights abuses by Russian troops in Chechnya. He said the key aim of the trip is to secure the return of an OSCE mission forced out of Chechnya by unrest last year.

Tomorrow, Ferrero-Waldner is scheduled to travel to Chechnya to visit Grozny, the Snamenskoje refugee camp, and a hospital in Argun. She is also expected to travel to Ingushetia before leaving Moscow on Saturday.