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Chechnya: OSCE Assembly To Criticize Russia

Bucharest, 6 July 2000 (RFE/RL) - The Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe is poised today to chide Russia again over its military operations in Chechnya and its limits on press freedom. The OSCE policy body begins a five-day meeting today in Bucharest. Principal event today besides the opening ceremony is the award of the OSCE's year 2000 Journalism and Democracy award to Russian reporter Andrei Babitsky for critical reporting from Chechnya.

The OSCE's leadership already has expressed regret that Russian authorities refused to permit Babitsky, an RFE/RL correspondent, to travel to Bucharest to receive the award. His wife, Lyudmila, is to receive the award on his behalf.

Chechnya and the OSCE's call for a political solution rather than continued military action there also is a top agenda item.