"We do not have information on the exact circumstances surrounding Mr. Maskhadov's death. The commission is following the developments in North Caucasus closely. It is not clear now what impact his death will have on the security situation there, and the security situation remains a big concern for us," Tardio said.
Tardio said the EU is concerned about what he said are "credible reports" of widespread human rights violations in the North Caucasus, including kidnapping and disappearances. He said the commission has repeatedly asked Russia to "make it a priority" to tackle all such violations.
Tardio said the EU continues to argue for a political solution settlement of the conflict in Chechnya, one that is "based on the support and confidence of the population and respecting Russia's territorial integrity."
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