Rene van der Linden (file photo) (Bymedia.net)
July 30, 2007 -- Rene van der Linden, the president of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), said he intends to look into what Moscow claims is widespread discrimination against ethnic Russians in the Baltic states.
He vowed to pay the "most serious attention" to the treatment of the Russian-speaking minority during his planned September visit to the Baltic countries.
Van der Linden made the comments today during a visit to the Russian city of Cheboksary.
Russia has frequently called attention to the Estonian and Latvian governments' treatment of their Russian minorities, where they make up some 25 and 30 percent of the population, respectively.
Rising Russian Nationalism
Orthodox believers and nationalists heckling a gay-rights rally in Moscow in May 2006 (RFE/RL)
A THREAT TO CIVIL, RELIGIOUS LIBERTIES: Several leading experts told a briefing hosted by RFE/RL and the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom that several mounting trends in Russia are posing a growing threat to human rights, especially for members of the country's ethnic and religious minorities.