expects the Duma to ratify the START II Treaty
Deputy Speaker of the State Duma, Vladimir Lukin (the
Yabloko faction), thinks that the Duma may already consider
the ratification of the Treaty on April 14, 2000.
In an interview Vladimir Lukin noted that, after the forthcoming
(in the second half of the day on April 10, 2000) discussion
of this issue at an expanded meeting of the Security Council
of the RF, the Council of the Duma will try (on the morning
of April 11, 2000) to set the date of the plenary meeting
of the Duma to discuss the START II Treaty.
Vladimir Lukin stressed that the chances of the Duma’s
ratification of the START II Treaty “are high”. He thinks
that treaty ratification may be backed by all the factions
and deputy groups, except the CPRF and their ally – the
Agrarian deputies’ group.
Vladimir Lukin thinks that the LDPR faction will also
back this issue. “Most likely, they (LDPR) will try to profit
somehow from the issue, in exchange for their support for
ratification,” said Vladimir Lukin. He also said that the
executive authority would like to ratify the START II Treaty
before the visit of the Head of the Ministry of Foreign
Affairs, Igor Ivanov, to the US at the end of April.
At the same time, Vladimir Lukin noted that the START II
Treaty can and must be ratified only simultaneously with
ratification of the two Protocols signed in 1997 by the
ex-head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Evgeni Primakov
and the State Secretary of the US Madeleine Albright.
Vladimir Lukin recalled that one protocol prolongs the
implementation terms of the START II Treaty, while the second
protocol refers to the differentiation between strategic
and non-strategic anti-missile defence systems.
Based on Interfax reports.
thinks that Russia may be sued by the European Court for
its actions in Chechnya
A member of the delegation of the State Duma of the Russian
Federation in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council
of Europe (PACE) from the Yabloko faction Alexander Shishlov
thinks that Russia may be sued by the European Court on
Human Rights for "Russia's violation of the European Convention
on Human Rights in Chechnya ".
He made this statement at a press conference in St Petersburg
on April 10, 2000. As is already known, on April 6 PACE
passed a resolution condemning Russia's actions in Chechnya.
According to Alexander Shishlov, a number of "small European
states have already considered launched legal actions against
Russia". Alexander Shishlov thinks that the accusations
of the Council of Europe in its "anti-Russian positions"
are unjustified and "short-sighted". "The failure of Russia's
parliamentary delegation at the PACE session was provoked
by the delegation, and the tone of the speeches of the delegation
members was aggressive and threatening, which is inadmissible
for talks in an international organisation," said Alexander
He also said that the professional level of most of the
representatives of the State Duma was "low"; according to
Alexander Shishlov "none of them had undergone any school
of diplomacy". Shishlov also said that he did not accept
that the "leadership of the delegation had planned their
Moreover, he was sure that the "sharp tone of the resolution
of PACE that was adopted by a majority of only one vote,
was provoked by the behaviour of our delegation". Shishlov
also expressed surprise that the representatives of the
"Unity" faction of the Duma joined the group of Christian
Democrats in PACE (i.e., the leader of the faction Boris
Gryzlov), which initiated the issue of suspending Russia's
membership in the Council of Europe.
Explaining the refusal of the members of the Yabloko faction
to leave the hall with the rest of the Russian delegation,
Shishlov stressed that the members of Yabloko had never
concealed their attitude to the actions of the federal forces
in Chechnya, where there "is no mechanism to protect human
rights and the interests of not only civilians, but also
the military and police fighting the bandits". "We think
that we should attempt to work rather than slam the door,"
Based on Interfax reports.