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Russia: Foreign Minister To Attend Council Of Europe Session

Moscow, 10 May 2000 (RFE/RL) - Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov goes to Strasbourg today for a session that will see Council of Europe ministers deciding on Russia's suspension from the European group. The council of ministers, currently headed by Irish Foreign Minister Brian Cowen on a rotational leadership, will take two days to consider last month's resolution by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) to suspend Russia's membership because of alleged human rights abuses in Chechnya. PACE last month also suspended Moscow's voting rights in the pro-democracy body, which have not yet been reinstated. ITAR-TASS news agency says Ivanov is scheduled to meet with several officials including Council of Europe Secretary-General Walter Schwimmer and the Romanian and Croatian foreign ministers. Tomorrow, Ireland will hand over the CE leadership to Italy.