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Chechnya: Council Of Europe Says Situation Still Dangerous

Moscow, 17 January 2001 (RFE/RL) -- A Council of Europe delegate said in Moscow today that the situation in the Chechen capital Grozny remains "highly dangerous." Rudolf Bindig is a member of the Council of Europe delegation that toured Grozny and other areas of Chechnya yesterday. He said every morning, the streets of the capital are empty and must first be swept for mines.

Grozny was taken by Russian troops one year ago after weeks of heavy fighting.

The Council of Europe delegation's report on Chechnya is due to be considered by the parliamentary assembly later this month when it decides whether to reinstate Russia's voting rights in the body.

The voting right was withdrawn over human rights violations by the Russian military in Chechnya.

Bindig said he does not believe the assembly will again veto the voting status. But he said pressure must be applied on Moscow to improve the patchy human rights situation in Chechnya.