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Council Of Europe: Russians Will 'Re-Evaluate' Relations

Strasbourg, 24 September 1996 (RFE/RL) -- The chairman of Russia's delegation to the Council of Europe's Parliamentary Assembly says he believes his 18-member group should "re-evaluate its relations and cooperation" with the assembly's Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights.

Vladimir Lukin told journalists that a closed-door meeting of the committee this morning in Strasbourg was in effect a violation of yesterday's decision by the assembly's Executive Bureau to cancel a hearing on Chechnya.

Lukin said two Chechen separatist officials, foreign minister Ruslan Chimayev and human-rights adviser Libhan Bazayeva, were present at the committee meeting and spoke on the human-rights situation in Chechnya.

Later, the chairman of the assembly's human-rights committee, Birger Hagard of Sweden, told journalists that Chimayev and Bazayeva were part of a delegation of the International Round Table, one of four non-governmental organizations invited by the committee to discuss the human rights situation in Chechnya.

Hagard said that he had not allowed any political statements to be made at this morning's meeting. Hagard also said Lukin had attended only the last five minutes of the hour-long meeting, and had complained afterwards about the presence of the two Chechen separatist officials.