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Russia: Council Of Europe Group To Visit Chechnya

Moscow, 23 June 2000 (RFE/RL) - A Council of Europe (CE) delegation is set today to visit Chechnya. The group is expected to meet with Akhmad Kadyrov, the head of Russia's administration there, commanders of federal troops, and Council experts working in the republic. Yesterday, CE Secretary-General Walther Schwimmer said in Moscow that Russia's talk of a political settlement in Chechnya remains only statements of intention with effective action remaining to be taken. Schwimmer said he is only 20 percent satisfied with answers he received from talks with Deputy Foreign Minister Yevgeny Gusarov. The council's report in Strasbourg on June 26 about the situation in the breakaway republic will largely determine whether Russia will be excluded from the Council of Europe, as recommended by the council's parliamentary assembly.